Design in place for new Eastern Henrico high school

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

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - When two new schools opened this fall in Henrico's West End, parents on the other side of the county wondered, "What about us?" Tonight, we're getting an early look at the design for a new East End high school, but to go from "writing" to "reality" won't be an easy process.

Somewhere, deep in the woods near E. Williamsburg and Old Williamsburg Roads is the site for a future high school, something Eastern Henrico parents have wanted for a while.

John Montgomery represents them on the school board, and hears the complaints.

"Well, it's been uniform, and consistent, and vocal...and it's been, frankly, compelling," Montgomery said.

Thursday, a design for the new school is being unveiled. It's a two-story modern approach, with at least eight athletic fields. The campus is designed to look almost identical to the new Glen Allen High School, which opened in September.

"The time for the East part of the county is overdue," Montgomery said.

While the design is in place and the land is picked out, the money's not quite available yet. So it's unclear exactly when the new school will be built.

"What we're doing now, and to be very clear, is dealing with the design and the schematic. It's not dealing with funding," Montgomery said.

The "New East Area High School" would relieve overcrowding elsewhere, including Varina and Highland Springs. But first, voters would have to approve the estimated $80 to $90 million price tag. The earliest year for a vote would be 2012, meaning the new school wouldn't open until at least 2015.

"Until that is funded, it will not be a reality," Montgomery said, adding, "People need patience, but they also need to be diligent."

Diligent, in the sense that there's a lot more work to do before this school becomes a reality. The latest step is the official presentation of the design at Thursday's school board meeting, which begins at 2:00 p.m.

To view the design, click here.

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