Concerns In Fluvanna Over Proposed New High School

By: Althea Paul
By: Althea Paul

February 7, 2006

Plans for a new high school in Fluvanna County are raising some eyebrows.

Sixty million dollars. That's about the projected cost to build the first phase of a new high school in Fluvanna County.

"I think a new high school is needed and new elementary schools are needed," said Fluvanna parent, Errin Kardos-Searcy.

It's a plan some officials also say is needed with the county growing over four percent each year over the past several years.

'You can't have a community the size of Fluvanna County growing at the annual rate that it's growing without dealing with the impact that has on the school-age population," said Columbia district supervisor in Fluvanna, Marvin Moss.

The new high school is slated to hold 1,500 students in Pleasant Grove.

Recommended by the Fluvanna County School Board, it’s called the Domino Plan. The old school in turn will then be converted to a middle school, and the middle school into a 4th and 5th grade elementary school.

"Our needs are changing in terms of curriculum and instruction, particularly at the high school level. They're becoming a lot more technology based. They're becoming more interactive and we need to have a facility that can reach 5, 10, 20 years in the future and be there and be flexible as our curriculum instructional need changes," said Fluvanna school superintendent, Dr. Tom Smith.

Not everyone however is for the project. One Fluvanna County supervisor we spoke with says he's not convinced there is a definite need for the so called "mega high-school". Not to mention the hefty price tag, which would make it the most expensive project in Fluvanna.

One that will end up costing taxpayers in some way. But it's something that parents we spoke with don't seem to mind.

"Money is always an issue, but if we don't do it now, it's just going to cost us more later," said Fluvanna parent, Rhon Williams."

The Board of Supervisors is set to make a decision on the Domino Plan on the 15th. There was also another option which the school board did not favor. That included building a middle school first, and renovating the high school. Some preferred that plan, called Flex A, over the Domino Plan.

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