IW schools approve capital plan

Published 10:31 pm Monday, December 12, 2016

By Steven Faleski

Special to the News-Herald

A new elementary school in Carrollton is one of several big projects to be included in the Isle of Wight Schools’ 10-year capital improvement plan.

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The Isle of Wight County School Board voted unanimously to approve the plan, which also includes the purchase of new roofs for Carrsville, Windsor and Carrollton elementary schools and the division’s central office; new garage bays to accommodate the division’s new buses; and upgrades to Smithfield High School’s surveillance cameras.

The plan also includes a proposal to make all elementary schools in the county kindergarten through fifth-grade schools, and move the county’s sixth graders to middle school, to prevent the schools from exceeding capacity due to new housing development in the area.

The roof replacements for three elementary schools and the central office would be completed during the 2017-2018 school year and will cost approximately $2.7 million.

The new bus garage would be completed in 2023 and cost approximately $750,000. The upgrade to Smithfield High’s surveillance system is estimated to cost approximately $3.5 million and would be completed during the 2018-2019 school year.

Construction of the new elementary school in Carrollton would begin in 2023, be completed by 2027 and cost approximately $22 million.

The school board received a $500,000 grant from the county earlier this year, which will be used to address HVAC and infrastructure upgrades at Smithfield High.

The board also received an update on costs for projects completed this year, which included the repairs to Carrsville Elementary after a Nov. 2 fire, and new playground equipment at Hardy and Windsor Elementary schools.

The total cost to repair Carrsville is slightly more than $132,000, and construction crews were able to meet their anticipated Nov. 14 completion date. Hardy’s new playground equipment cost $34,000 and Windsor’s, $35,000.

Carrollton Elementary also received new playground equipment, but it was funded entirely through parent-teacher association contributions.

During this month’s Isle of Wight Achievers presentation, the board recognized four Isle of Wight County students who recently performed with the Richmond Ballet at Chrysler Hall in Norfolk: Maddie Tucker, a fourth grader at Westside Elementary; Zoe Glaser, a sixth grader at Westside Elementary, Grace Eriksen, a seventh grader at Smithfield Middle School, and Emily Orrock, a freshman at Smithfield High School.

Windsor High School’s Hannah Weisenburger, one of last month’s seniors of the month, rejoined the Achievers this month to receive board recognition for being named the Conference 41 volleyball player of the year after Windsor won the conference championship. Her coach, Maggie Campbell, was also recognized for winning coach of the year.

Windsor High School student Jacob Brunner was recognized for winning the Regional Best Actor award at the Regional Theatre Championships. Alexander Culver, a senior at Smithfield High, was also recognized as a National Merit Commended Student for 2017.

Students who receive this award were in the top 3 percent of all scorers on the PSAT during their junior year. Culver attends the Governor’s School for Science and Technology.

December’s seniors of the month included Grant Fabits from Windsor High School, who is the student manager for the school’s football team, a member of the Tri-Rivers district basketball team, and a member of Windsor’s track team; and Kembry McNeil-Thompson from Smithfield High School, a member of the school’s Beta Club, who recently mentored a fellow student in her creative writing class who was falling behind and spent one-on-one time with her to help her pass the first quarter.

All students named seniors of the month will receive a $500 scholarship at the end of the school year.

December’s employees of the month included David James, a technician with the county’s information technology department; Eddie Holiday, a Westside Elementary custodian; and Jamie Posavid, a county maintenance employee.

At the conclusion of the Isle of Wight Achievers presentation, Joann Hall and Christy Chattam of the Isle of Wight Education Foundation announced to the board that the foundation will donate $20,000 to launch a new greenhouse program at Windsor High School, and that they awarded a total of $41,000 in teacher grants this year.