Henrico board to consider new Wyndham-area school

By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It's a wide open space that's about to be worth millions of dollars, and the key to a child's education. Henrico County is considering a brand new elementary school at the intersection of Pouncey Tract Road and Quarry Hill Lane.

The land cost the School Board nearly $4-million in 2006, and since then it's been vacant and peaceful. But on Tuesday, the future starts to change.

Catherine Wagner has two young children: a girl and a boy. As they get older, a new school may be in their future.

"This area's growing so much, certainly we will probably need a new school at some point," Wagner said.

County planners say it's possible to build more than 6,000 new homes in the Wyndham area over the next two decades.

With more children comes the need for more schools. So the plans are in place for the newest elementary school to be built in a field near the Goochland County border.

"I'm sure it'll work out for the best in the end, so, we'll just see what happens," Wagner said.

Students who live in the nearby Wyndham community would possibly go to the new school but it's unclear at this  moment if they'd have to be pulled from their existing schools, or, if enough new families would move in to fill the school by the time it's built.

The new building would look almost identical to the existing Colonial Trail Elementary, also in the West End, an area that saw a new middle and high school open earlier this year.

A school spokesperson said the building plans are based on expected growth.

"Our goal is to build schools in a timely manner so that we don't experience capacity issues at existing schools," said Mychael Dickerson of Henrico County Public Schools.

Prior to this year, the two newest schools were located in Henrico's East End: Elko Middle School and Harvie Elementary School, which opened in 2007.

The new elementary school would have 37 classrooms for more than 700 students. Construction bids are expected to hit about $13 million.

Under the plan, what's currently known as "West Area Elementary School #9 "would be open with a proper name by  the Fall of 2013. But first, the school must be approved by county supervisors, who will vote on the plans Tuesday evening.

Money for this and other specific projects were approved by the public in a 2005 bond referendum.

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