RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The fight to keep Chester Middle School open might not be over, even though Friday is supposed to be the final day of classes.
The school is scheduled to be re-opened in the fall as Thomas Dale ninth grade academy. County leaders say this move is necessary to cope with overcrowding at Thomas Dale High, but this decision has not been a popular one.
Many parents protested the action because Chester Middle students will be split between Carver and Davis middle schools.
A posting on a Chesterfield community news webpage urges those who support or oppose this plan to make their feelings known to the Board of Supervisors next week.
The supervisors are holding a public hearing on the planning commission's May finding that the conversion of Chester Middle to a ninth-grade academy is in compliance with the county's comprehensive plan.
The idea has received mixed reviews from the get-go.
"No one likes shutting down a school and splitting it up," said Chesterfield School Board Chair David Wyman, "but we also realized that there is existing capacity available within our middle school."
"My daughter's had 3 school zone changes now in 4 and a half years," said Terri Moody. "I'd like to see her be able to make some friends and stay with them."
Candles were glowing in the windows Friday morning - we've been told this is typically the scene during the holiday season, but it wasn't allowed this past year because of electricity costs and budget constraints.
Thursday night, the candles were lit to honor the years Chester Middle has served the community as a middle school - and has been called a farewell from friends.
Friday is likely the last day of classes, but it's not over yet. The public hearing is next Wednesday.