GOOCHLAND, VA (WWBT) - A vote by the Goochland County Board of Supervisors means Benedictine College Preparatory will move to Goochland County.
This is a decision that came with heated emotion and plenty of concerns — and will change the course of a school that has, for a century, been a Richmond institution.
It was a gymnasium packed and divided, the future of Benedictine College Preparatory at issue. School leaders at Benedictine College Preparatory say their students say their students need to be moved from Richmond to the Abby in Goochland, to increase space and improve the quality of school time.
"Closer to a majority of our students homes, minimizing the amount of time that they spend at the school each day, maximizing the amount of time that they spend with their families," said Jesse Grapes, Headmaster of the school.
Some residents support the move, others say it could be devastating to the county.
"I can't see how it helps the residents, to be honest," said Andrew Farquhar, a resident against the move.
Concerns are plentiful. Residents worry about traffic and overuse of county facilities.
"I think the school is a great institution, but River Road is not the right place for it," said Farquhar. "Perhaps first and foremost because it is completely against the Comprehensive Plan."
Some Benedictine alumni agree, saying the Abby doesn't leave enough room for the school to grow. Luke Puccinelli graduated from Benedictine in 1992.
"When you look at the Abby, it's a facility that is landlocked. We have a facility in the city of Richmond that is landlocked. What they're planning to build in the Abby, the Abby's not even large enough to hold these facilities," said Puccinelli.
Students who spoke say they're ready to investing the community. School officials say moving to Goochland will help them grow the student population and move the academic campus next to the athletic fields.
We're told work will begin now to make improvements necessary to move students in by next school year.