New School Planned for Albemarle County

By: Philip Stewart
By: Philip Stewart

April 27, 2006

The Albemarle County School Board heard comments on a new elementary school planned for a new development just south of the city.

The new development is Biscuit Run and it's planned for an area of about 900 acres just north of I-64, between Route 20 and 5th Street Extended. It's expected to include some 5,000 new homes and up to 600 new elementary school students. The school board says that number of new students will require a new school, ideally in the Biscuit Run development.

Thursday night the plan shown to the board included a centrally located elementary school. It would allow the majority of the students in Biscuit Run to walk to school, cutting down on the amount of traffic in and out of the development.

Just last year the county school board considered adding an elementary school in the area south of the city to alleviate some of the overpopulation problems in the district. On Thursday, members said the new Biscuit Run school would add room for students from both the new development and from the surrounding area.

"Putting it near, or in, a development that will potentially have 5,000 housing units could make some sense, in terms of planning for future needs," said Sue Bell Friedman, the chair of the Albemarle County School Board.

The school board also suggested that the new school should also act as a central community center in Biscuit Run, in which various non-school related community events could be held.

One board member, Pamela Moynihan, expressed her concern over the need for expansions at Walton Middle School and at Monticello High School. Moynihan said it was important not to forget that there will be more than just an increase in the number of elementary school students from the new homes built in Biscuit Run.

The board will take up the issue of the new school again in future meetings, until a site is fully agreed upon.

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