Parents start online petition to help ease school overcrowding

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - They're tired of the trailers. Now, some Chesterfield parents have launched an online petition to resolve school overcrowding, especially at one elementary school that's bursting at the seams.

Renovations at Watkins Elementary started last month to add a new wing, a bus loop and front office. Parents want the new classrooms finished first.

At Watkins Elementary, the most overcrowded school in the county, nearly a dozen trailers sit out back. They're used for classrooms, storage and teacher workrooms.

But that's nearly a dozen too many for parents like Sara Ward.

"Knowing that the children are in a facility that can be so much better for them. They're so proud, they love their school, their teachers are wonderful, really the only thing lacking is just a nicer facility," said Ward.

Several dozen parents have signed an online petition launched Monday in support of a proposal to improve Watkins.

Parents want the district to come up with better ways to ease overcrowding, not just at Watkins, but county wide.

"The petition we have is for short term requests while the addition is being built on the school, things that they could be doing to make life day to day," said Ward.

Parents want the wing with eight new classrooms finished by August 2012.

The district said the contractor is on time and the wing should be ready for students by next fall.

After construction, there will still be trailers out back, but not as many as there are now.

School officials said some students will use two megatrailers that house classrooms and restrooms.

Parents will talk more about the petition at a PTA meeting Tuesday night.

To see the proposal and petition, go to

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