Chesterfield School Board approves Capital Improvements Plan

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - We're getting a look into the future of Chesterfield schools.

The school board voted on a $154 million plan that will ease overcrowding.

But not everyone's at ease with the future school spending plan.

200 more classroom seats for overcrowded Beulah Elementary and a new gym for  Midlothian High.

Just a couple examples as to what's in the Capital Improvements Plan for Chesterfield Schools.
The plan passed three to one.

The district said it'll have a better picture about future spending when the governor announces the state's education budget Friday.

The five year, $154 million plan doesn't call for new construction, but fixing up and expanding seven existing schools, including Midlothian and Monacan High and Beulah Elementary.

Watkins Elementary, the most overcrowded school in the county, would get some help by placing some children in two relief schools, one of which hasn't been named.

Outgoing Mataoca district school board member, Omarh Rajah, pointed out $21 million is earmarked for the first year alone.

He opposed the plan, citing a tough economy for such major spending.

"Many of these things looked at as possibility might not happen and I think we have to start taking that approach and be cautious," said Rajah.

Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance, David Myers, said the bulk would be paid through the sale of bonds.

Myers spoke briefly about the potential for funding loss for the next cycle.

He told the board that state funding for schools may be not as high as in the past and it's uncertain what the General Assembly will do to restore adequate teacher funding.

"The combo of those two certainly could large shortfall maybe being $10 to $15 million for Chesterfield," said Myers.

We're told the incoming school board would have the opportunity to make adjustments to the five year plan.

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