New Enon Elementary School to be built on the site of the current school building

During its Aug. 8 meeting, the Chesterfield County School Board approved a substantial accord determination application for the new Enon Elementary School to be built on the site of the current school building. The application is being submitted to the county Planning Department for consideration by the Chesterfield County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.

Previously, the new school was planned to be built on a different site. However, there is strong community support for putting the new school on the site of the existing school building and the recently hired architect believes that can be done. After arriving in Chesterfield in July, the new superintendent asked staff to consult with the engineer and, upon approval of a contract, with the new architect to analyze the possibility of building a one-story school on the current Enon Elementary School site, which had originally had been suggested as not feasible, to avoid asking the county to engage in eminent domain if possible.

School division staff members worked with RRMM to develop a modification to the prototype design selected by the School Board. The modified plan provides essentially the same square footage and all the amenities of the base prototype. The primary modification is the number of hallways and layout of classrooms. The base prototype, as reflected at the July 12 meeting, contains three hallways with two class levels and the modified prototype contains two hallways with three class levels. Staff members believe this has no instructional impact and provides the same level of service as the base prototype. Construction will necessitate the demolition of the existing gym and some classrooms in the later stages of construction. During this time, students in these few affected areas will be relocated to trailers.

The one-story structure will involve purchasing about two acres from Rivermont Presbyterian Church to supplement the current Enon Elementary site, increasing the site to 13.6 acres. The additional acreage would provide sufficient parking, school bus access and playing fields for the school.

While all costs cannot be definitively calculated at this time, initial estimates from the architect, county staff members and school staff members indicate Site 1 has a slight cost savings over Site 4 for design and sitework.

It should be noted that the division may be interested in acquiring adjacent property only when such property is placed for sale by the owner with the purpose being to again avoid the eminent domain process when possible. There are no plans to acquire property unless the sale is initiated by the owner. If a sales transaction occurs in the future, substantial accord determination will be required for any additional property that is acquired.

The community of Enon Elementary has been invited to meet 6:30-8 p.m. Aug. 15 in the school’s library (2001 E. Hundred Road) and help decide how the new school building will look. Community members will see the school design, review options for how the exterior of their school might look and vote on the fa├žade they prefer during this meeting.

The construction is part of the bond package approved by Chesterfield County voters in 2013. The new Enon Elementary is scheduled to open in the fall of 2018.