School Expansion

By: Philip Stewart Email
By: Philip Stewart Email

September 27, 2007

According to details in a new design plan presented to the school board Thursday night, Brownsville Elementary will soon be one of the largest elementary schools in the district, able to take on as many as 200 new students.

The school near Crozet sits in one of the fastest growing areas of Albemarle County. That's why the Albemarle County school board approved a design plan Thursday night to expand the school by nearly 30,000 square feet in the next two years. The goal is to ease the problem of over crowing in the classrooms.

"With the growth in some of the subdivisions that are around Crozet, we feel that Brownsville will also be one of the larger elementary schools, so we'll be really ready for that growth when it comes," explained Jo Vining, who has been the principal at Brownsville for five years.

Preliminary designs add eleven new classrooms, featuring natural light and access to outdoor space.

There are also plans for a new gym, an expanded cafeteria and renovated office space.

When complete in 2009 it will be able to hold nearly 650 students.

"We're designing a place at Brownsville that is exciting that will have lots of room for students," said Dr. Diane Behrens, with the Albemarle County School District.

About 100 of those students will include children from neighboring Crozet Elementary, where right now trailers are used to deal with over crowding there. Moving some Crozet students to Brownsville will allow the district to discontinue trailer use at Crozet completely. By 2009, according to Behrens, all Crozet students will be taught in the main school building.

"As soon as we get that addition on then both of those schools, Crozet and Brownsville should have a little space," said Behrens.

The plan presented Thursday night is essentially one new design that will help ease crowding at two county locations.

The projects comes with a price tag of about $8 million, but school leaders think it's well worth the cost.

Earlier this month the Albemarle County School Board also approved plans to expand Albemarle High School and Greer Elementary School. Those designs are also aimed at easing the districts over crowding.


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