Richmond building four new schools

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Summer is winding down and student activities at Huguenot High are starting up again. Former Huguenot High student Andrea Jackson is waiting for her younger brother.  She's a 2007 graduate.

"It was a really good school when I was here. It just needs to be updated, have new technology," she said.

And she's close to getting her wish. The city's about to look for the right contractor for a new 80 million dollar Huguenot High. They're also building a 36 million dollar Martin Luther Middle.

There's a meeting Thursday night for every contractor in the area that wants to build these schools. The city's changing the process, going to a risk management approach.

"It allows us to negotiate immediately with the firm that's been selected," said John Winter, Richmond Chief Capital Projects Manager.

The city is trying to prevent what happened at Broad Rock and Oak Grove Elementary. The construction companies wanting to build those new schools bid more than the city actually budgeted.

The city had to make quite a number of changes to the designs for the delayed construction by 4 months.

"I think the ability to negotiate will result in a better contract which should be the best cost and hopefully the best time for delivery," Winter said.

Construction on the elementary schools could begin by mid September. Construction on the new Martin Luther Middle should start in December with the first new high school breaking ground by January.

"A lot happening. Yeah…we're excited about that. We're ready to start building," Winter said.

Construction managers, firms, sub-contractors, even vendors interested in building the new middle and high schools are encouraged to attend a city meeting tonight. It's at the Richmond Police Training Academy at 1202 West Graham Road from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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