Rezoning for new Henrico elementary school causes controversy - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Rezoning for new Henrico elementary school causes controversy

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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

A new elementary school in Henrico's West End is stirring up quite a controversy among parents.

They worry the new school, located on Pouncey Tract Road in the back end of the Wyndham and Henley neighborhoods, will be disruptive for their kids.

Henrico Public Schools asked parents to weigh in. Hundreds of parents came out to Deep Run High School Thursday night to take a closer look at two possible rezoning options for the next school year.

Out of about 7,800 elementary students countywide, 600 will be moved to the new school.

These 11 schools could be affected:

Colonial Trail Elementary, Gayton Elementary, Jackson Davis Elementary, Longan Elementary, Nuckols Farm Elementary, Springfield Park Elementary, Pinchbeck Elementary, Ridge Elementary, Rivers Edge Elementary, Shady Grove Elementary and Short Pump Elementary.

Two moms of children at Colonial Trail Elementary don't want the change.

"They constantly have that feeling of starting over again, and I think that's hard for a child," said Laura Armour.

"I think it's very disruptive and very upsetting for them," said Elizabeth Hicks.

Despite the controversy, the school was approved in 2005 by voters. The school is being built to support the growing number of students in the region.

"It's a tradeoff between getting children the best facility and new schools versus stability but overcrowded schools and parents not satisfied with trailers," said committee member William Panak.

But, not all parents see a downside.

Elizabeth Betz has two kids at Short Pump Elementary and says the kids could use more space.

"It's really crowded, our class sizes are big and the cafeteria is really overcrowded…we're hoping that next year there will be fewer bodies," said Betz.

A 22-member committee of Henrico parents is taking the suggestions and will be making revisions.

"We have to figure out a way to best use all of the county's resources so that we don't over crowd some school and have other schools half empty," said Panak.

The final vote on the rezoning will be made by the school board in December. The school will be open for students in fall of 2013.

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