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Richmond school board votes to hold community meeting for George Wythe High School

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 10:18 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Richmond Public School Board voted on Monday to hold a meeting for community members concerned about the construction timeline for a new George Wythe High School.

The meeting will include details on plans for academic programs and Mayor Levar Stoney’s proposal request. The board decided it will not move forward with the Mayor’s request to collaborate on building Wythe.

“People hear that and they make an assumption that these people don’t want to compromise when that’s not exactly what’s happening here. What’s happening is we were offered something that didn’t reflect what we asked for. That’s not a compromise,” Board Member Stephanie Rizzie said.

The community meeting on George Wythe, slated for the week of July 12, will include time for public comments.

During Monday night’s meeting, members of the school board contemplated for more than an hour on whether to hold the community meeting.

Some initially said it’s premature since members don’t have positions in place needed to move forward with building the school. Others said it’s needed to show the community they are moving forward with the process. Ultimately, all members, except Board Chair Cheryl Burke, voted to have the meeting.

Members decided the meeting will occur during the week of July 12, but a formal date has not been finalized. However, the meeting will be held from 6-8 p.m. at George Wythe High School.

Previously, some members of the school board accused the city of already overpaying for three school renovations, so they voted to take control of this project. However, Mayor Levar Stoney is going around their wishes, requesting design proposals this week for the new building, saying the school board is ignoring public demand. Though, Stoney admits he can’t legally control the process once the bids come in; he’s trying to speed up the process, hoping the school board tag teams with future steps.

The board voted to write a letter to the Mayor to say when it comes to collaboration, thanks but no thanks.

“What I would say is the Mayor does not seem to respect the authority that the school board has as vested by the state constitution. That’s how I would put it,” Board Member Kenya Gibson said.

This is a developing story.

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