Henrico schools to get $14 million for new classrooms

By Laura Geller - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Some positive budget news out of Henrico County. If your kids have to use trailer classrooms, you may soon get some relief. The board of supervisors will introduce an amendment to add money to the county budget.

Three elementary schools that currently operate with trailers are set to get six new classrooms each! The long awaited 14-million dollars is going to go a long way in Henrico County, building eighteen new classrooms at three West End elementary schools.

"Oh that's wonderful!  Finally the stimulus is going to do some good for somebody," said Cathy Barskdale.

As more children attend Henrico schools, more trailers are required. Right now Tuckahoe Elementary has three trailers, Lakeside uses five and Dumbarton has seven portable classrooms. Gloria Titus' son is a third grader at Dumbarton.

"We do have trailers and it is overcrowded," said Titus.

Titus says the trailers create a divisive learning environment.

"Right now, the last couple years he's had students that he's friends with and they're out in the trailer. So if they're all together where they're supposed to be and mingling and doing things together and having time together. I think it is important," Titus said.

Cathy Barskdale's son spent entire year learning in a trailer at Tuckahoe elementary.

"I just think it's harder. It's harder. It's noisy. It's very noisy. It's harder for the teacher to keep control because she's in the middle of the room and these desks are completely spread out all the way to the other end of the trailer and it's just really hard," said Cathy.

That school will get more than four million in stimulus funds for the six new classrooms.

"It's a shame because we feel like this area gives a lot of tax money and the kids deserve to have a nice school like they do in the farther West End," said Cathy.

Both Lakeside and Dumbarton will get just under four million. Parents are hoping the increase in funds will bring a decrease in trailers.

"We have not liked them and we're glad to see them go," Cathy said.

Also included in that pot of money is two and a half million dollars to go to planning of the new east end high school. The board will hold a public hearing on the amendment at its next meeting on July 29.

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