Improvements planned for a dozen Hanover schools

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) – Hanover County is ready to move forward with some major school renovation plans. School leader's hope by this time next year, construction will begin on about 11 million dollars worth of improvements.

School leaders say these renovations will tackle about a dozen facilities here in Hanover County. One of those is going to be Washington Henry Elementary School in Mechanicsville; it's one of the oldest schools in the district and is due for 4 million dollars in renovations.

"New flooring, new painting, new windows, exterior windows, so the inside of the building will look essentially new," said Michael Thornton.

Thornton describes plans for Washington Henry and Beaverdam Elementary Schools. He's the assistant superintendent of business and operations. Thornton says since there are no new schools in the immediate future--renovation is key. It's been a priority of the school district for a number of years, but is finally back in the game plan now that the economy is looking a bit brighter.

"The facilities themselves are sound and in good condition, but clearly they warrant major changes in terms of the cosmetic look of the building on the interior, so we are excited to be able to do that at those locations," he said.

Beaverdam and Washington Henry will get top priority because those schools are the oldest.

"The priority is the age of the facilities; many of the schools, the original construction dates back to the 30s and the 40s; although they are structurally sound, they still require some major renovations," said Thornton.

10 of Hanovers' other 25 schools will see smaller scale projects like roof and parking upgrades. Those include Patrick Henry and Atlee High Schools and Liberty Middle School. The district says the design phase of this plan will continue through the rest of this year with the hopes of construction kicking off first thing in 2012. Most of the construction though will take place in the summers -- when it will be the least disruptive to students.

And in addition to the renovations; there's several million dollars set aside in next year's budget for general school needs like replacement computers and new school buses. You can find more information these renovations and the capital improvement plan on the Hanover County Schools website.

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