Henrico planning new elementary school to ease overcrowding

New Henrico elementary to help ease overcrowding

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Henrico County parents are learning more about a new elementary school that will help ease overcrowding.

A public meeting was held to get feedback from moms and dads who want to know how this will impact their child's learning.

If everything goes according to schedule, the new elementary school is set to open in 2021. And the new building won't be in a distant part of the area. In fact, it will be built on the current site of Holladay Elementary School.

"Holladay has the largest number of students. It's over capacity by 118 percent." representative Beverly Cocke said.

Cocke represents the area where the school will be built and said trailers are being used for some classes, due to the limited space.

"The new school is going to be approximately $20 million," Cocke said. "By having it on the same site as Holladay we are saving the taxpayer about $3 million."

It's still too early for architectural renderings, but officials say the school will be built right next to the current building. Leaders say the schools will be separate but might share a kitchen, front office and multi-functional room.

"I'm really encouraged by the fact they are considering innovative curriculum structures and reaching out to parents to get their opinion." Donnie Gladfelter said.

Gladfelter came out to the meeting to hear plans because his son, Jackson, will be attending the school. Parents and community members got a chance to ask questions about the construction plans, even raising concerns about traffic issues.

The school will also be a first of it's kind for Henrico County by offering a bilingual program for students.

"It will give the students that are English language learners a true sense of belonging in the school," Gladfelter said. "Sometimes when you walk into schools now it feels as if there are two schools."

School officials are not sure how the new school will effect zoning in the area but said it is expected hold 650 students.

Construction on the new schools could begin as soon as next summer.

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