The Chesterfield County School Board will receive, during a special-called meeting on July 11, a proposal to amend its previously adopted Capital Improvement Plan to add a new elementary school in the Matoaca District. The new 900-student school is proposed to open in Fall 2020 and would be built on proffered land in Magnolia Green that already has been approved for an elementary school.
A new elementary school will help the school division support current student enrollments and prepare for future growth in the Hull Street Road corridor. According to housing data provided by the county government, approximately 5,900 new homes are in the approved residential development pipeline in that area. These new homes are projected to increase enrollment by approximately 3,000 elementary school-age students.
“The 360 West corridor continues to be a hotbed for growth,” said Matoaca District representative Rob Thompson, also the vice chair of the School Board. “As the county did when it opened Cosby High more than a decade ago, it appears that it is necessary to amend the CIP to address a coming need. We’re fortunate to be in a position where we can be proactive in this area.”
Completing school construction in time for a Fall 2020 opening will allow for a single Matoaca District redistricting during the 2018-19 school year. A replacement Matoaca Elementary School, which will be larger than the existing Matoaca Elementary, is scheduled to open on the current Matoaca Middle West campus in Fall 2020.
“Having existing land already approved for an elementary school and a prototype elementary school that we have already built should allow us to meet an expedited timeline. This proposal would not be possible without the strategic planning by the School Board and the partnership with the Board of Supervisors to provide the necessary funding,” Thompson said.
A preliminary test fit of the elementary school prototype on the proffered land in Magnolia Green demonstrated the site could accommodate a 900-student elementary school.
The projected cost for the new elementary school, which includes a larger gym for use by the county government’s Parks and Recreation Department, is $36.3 million. Costs for the proposed project are similar to costs associated with the ongoing construction of a new Old Hundred Elementary School in the Midlothian District, with a 7.5 percent annual escalation and costs for a larger gym included.