School Board to ask supervisors for space study funds

WOODSTOCK – The School Board plans to ask the Board of Supervisors for money to pay for studies of the division’s space needs.

Superintendent Jeremy Raley said on Tuesday the School Board plans to request an additional appropriation of $135,000 in its fiscal budget. The School Board is expected to make the request at the Board of Supervisors’ work session on Dec. 3. Supervisors meet once more this year – Dec. 8 – at which time they could consider the School Board’s request.

The School Board’s fiscal 2016 budget does not include funds for the additional studies, Raley said.

Of the total amount requested, $35,000 would cover the cost to complete the work on the boundary adjustment, Raley said. The remaining $100,000 would go to pay for a study of the division’s facilities and to create a long-term plan for the use of the various school buildings in the future, Raley said.

Should the supervisors grant the School Board’s request, Raley said he hopes the contractors could start work soon.

Work on the short-term solutions began July 1 and the School Board heard a presentation on Oct. 8 with suggestions on how to handle the space needs. The School Board voted Nov. 12 to seek the funds for the boundary adjustment and the long-term facilities plan. The realignment should more evenly distribute the school population among the facilities, Raley noted.

The School Board has contracted with HBA Architecture and Interior Design Inc., based in Virginia Beach. DeJong-Richter is a subcontractor hired to handle demographic data for the study.

The School Board spent $22,000 from the capital improvements budget to cover the cost of the short-term study. Of that amount, $10,000 covered the cost to adjust the bus routes, Raley said. The contract also caps extra expenses at $4,400.

The School Board initially scheduled a joint meeting with the Board of Supervisors for this past Monday to discuss the request. The county postponed the discussion of the topic to the supervisors’ work session after a resident complained that school officials did not give enough notice of the joint meeting. The Virginia Freedom of Information Act requires that such announcements come at least three business days prior to the day of the meeting.

County Administrator Mary T. Price said Tuesday that she talked with County Attorney J. Jay Litten last week about the scheduling of the joint session and whether or not the announcement provided enough advance notice to the public. Litten recommended that the county cancel the joint meeting, Price said. The county then postponed the discussion of the topic with the School Board to the supervisors’ regular work session next Thursday.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com