Richmond Public Schools need $29 million for immediate repairs - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Richmond Public Schools need $29 million for immediate repairs

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Just over three weeks before thousands of students return to class, Richmond Public Schools announced Thursday the District needs $29 million, in order to make further repairs to buildings and equipment.

The figure was unveiled at a Richmond Public School Board meeting Thursday evening, led by Thomas E. Kranz, assistant superintendent for support services.

Kranz reported an immediate need of $35 million, with $6 million in available funds. But Superintendent Dr. Dana T. Bedden said in an interview that it is unclear where the remaining $29 million will come from, money needed for repairs in the near future.

"We don't know," Bedden said. "We'll make our case [to the City]. We'll present our needs, and I think they'll do the best they can to make sure that they're supporting us and meeting the needs of kids."

Despite a $29 million shortfall, Bedden said the District's schools are sufficiently repaired and ready to open next month.

"What parents should know, is that the schools are safe, we've repaired leaky roofs, and we're ready to open," Bedden said. "We've spent all summer identifying where the problems are, and what needed to be fixed before the new school year."

The millions of dollars in remaining anticipated repairs would be used to replace ageing components of buildings, like HVAC systems and roofs.

Part of the $6 million already allocated has been used to buy 78 more efficient school busses, an expense made now, to save money in the long-run.

"We're looking at public-private partnerships and different financing options… Because we realize the City doesn't have an endless well of money," Bedden said.

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