Committee considers options for future schools

WOODSTOCK – The long-term facilities master plan steering committee met Monday night to discuss the future of Shenandoah County Public Schools.

With help from consultants, Tracey Richter, CEO of DeJong-Richter; Matt Sachs, GIS analyst; and Mike Ross, of HBA Architecture, the committee considered various redesigns of the school division.

“Tonight, you need to be thinking 25 years ahead,” Richter told the committee.

The committee had six options to review at their meeting. No option would be able to be implemented in the next few years because such large-scale changes to the school division require time and money before implementation, he said.

Richter told the committee to think of different ways the county might look years from now when considering each option.

“What we try to do for you is give you a template,” he said.

The steering committee was split into four groups and discussed the district’s original six options:

Option A
This option allowed for three elementary schools, three middle schools and three high schools. In this option, all current buildings would be renovated and the elementary schools would move to a year-round calendar. Stonewall Jackson High School would receive an addition for a career and technical education center.

The estimated cost of this option would be $123,253,458.

Option B1
This option included four elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school. In this option, the current middle schools would be converted to elementary schools with 200 seat additions. The district would build a new North/Central Elementary School and then demolish the three existing elementary schools.

Stonewall Jackson High School and Strasburg High School would be converted into middle schools. A new 1,800-capacity high school would be built with a centralized career and technical center.

The estimated cost of this option would be $178,253,396.

Option B2
This option also allowed for four elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school. North Fork and Signal Knob middle schools would be converted to elementary schools. A North/Central and a South/Central elementary school would be built, and the current elementary buildings would be demolished.

Stonewall Jackson and Strasburg high schools would be converted into middle schools. The existing central campus would be renovated into a division-wide high school with a career and technical center.

The estimated cost of this option would be $149,735,551.

Option C1
This option allowed for five elementary schools, three middle schools and three high schools. The three existing elementary schools would be renovated. Two new schools would be built, creating North/Central and South/Central elementary schools.

The three current middle schools and high schools would be renovated, with an addition at Stonewall Jackson High School for the career and technical center.

The estimated cost of this option would be $158,315,628.

Option C2
This option allowed for five elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. All current elementary schools would be demolished. Middle schools would be converted into elementary schools, and North/Central and South/Central elementary schools would be built.

Stonewall Jackson High School and Strasburg High School would be converted to middle schools. Central High School would be converted to a career and technical center, and two new high schools would be built.

The estimated cost of this option would be $207,525,266.

Option C3
This option also allowed for five elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. All middle schools will be converted to elementary schools. Current elementary schools would be demolished. North/Central and South/Central elementary schools would be built.

Stonewall Jackson and Strasburg high schools would be converted to middle schools. Central High School would be converted to an Innovation Center and Alternative School. Two new high schools would be built.

Options C2 and C3 were estimated at the same cost: $207,525,266.

After reviewing all options, the committee modified each of the options and in some cases got rid of and created new options to bring to the community. They kept option A, but with the possibility of moving the career and technical center to a more centralized location. They also blended the B options together, creating four or five elementary schools and a centralized high school. An option with a centralized middle school was also proposed. They also reworked the C options.

The updated options will be available and presented at the community dialogue that will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. May 11 at the Central High School cafeteria.

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com

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