Chester Middle school no more

By Gene Petriello bio | email
Posted by Shawn Maclauchlan

CHESTER, VA (WWBT) - The decision is made about the future of Chester Middle school, and it's one that a lot of people do not support.

Even the big "save Chester Middle" signs parents and students chanted with during the past couple of months couldn't save the school. The popular opinion didn't win out.

Not one person who spoke out on Tuesday night supported the board's decision to take the 6th through 8th graders out of Chester Middle. But late into the evening, the Chesterfield school board voted unanimously to turn Chester Middle into a 9th grade campus - ending the school as it's known today.

To make matters worse for some, 8th graders currently at Chester Middle will go to the school next year for 9th grade. The decision has left many parents, students, and even teachers upset about the move.

"They've even ignored people who asked them not to grandfather the 8th graders," said Angela Jenkins. "The parents do not want their 8th graders there without a middle school. They listened to nobody."

"I'm sure they listened, but they probably had their decision made before they got here," said Kent Dodd. "I wanted to see Chester Middle stay open... it's going to affect our community and my child. It's a sad day for Chester."

The 9th grade class next fall will be made up of students slated to go to Thomas Dale High.

This decision comes in the midst of massive budget cuts needed for the school district next year, amounting to a $50 million shortfall. A school spokesman says the district has no money to build a new high school.

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