HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Henrico's proposed budget includes a 2.4 percent raise for county employees, more positions for police and fire and $10.8 million in funds to address renovations at schools.
"It's a great first step," said Laura Pleasants, Tuckahoe Middle School's PTA president. The group has been outspoken about much-needed funding because the school hasn't had a major renovation for more than five decades. "Of course, the question of how it's going to be fully funded, when it's going to be fully funded, when the project is going to start... Those questions are all still outstanding," Pleasants added.
The school renovation funding is slated for seven schools, which are all more than 50 years old:
- Pemberton Elementary
- Crestview Elementary
- Skipwith Elementary
- Tuckahoe Middle
- Seven Pines Elementary
- Chamberlayne Elementary
- Glen Allen Elementary
None of the schools has had substantial renovations in quite some time.
The latest budget proposal said Pemberton, Crestview, Skipwith, Seven Pines and Chamberlayne will get $1.2 million, Glen Allen Elementary will get $2-million and Tuckahoe Middle Schools is expected to get $2.8 million. This will go towards starting the planning process for renovations and construction, which is in addition to funds from the meals tax that goes to other capital projects. The county manager emphasized that this is just the beginning of a long-term plan.
The county will need to figure out how to get more funding, not just for these schools, but for other campuses that are aging quickly. "It really sends the signal that our project is going to get done and it's important to the county," said Pleasants.
In addition, the county will be opening up 50 new teacher positions, 10 new police positions, 13 firefighting positions and maintaining a low real estate tax of $0.87 per $100 of assessed value.
Tuckahoe Middle School's PTA will meet with their county supervisor and school board representative this week to discuss the next steps. The budget is still a proposal and final approval is in July.
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