Tuesday, Oct. 15, marks the beginning of the last phase of school construction projects overwhelmingly approved by Chesterfield County residents through the 2013 school bond referendum. Construction of the new replacement school for Reams Road Elementary School begins with a groundbreaking ceremony at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 15.
Through these school construction efforts, Chesterfield County Public Schools’ projects have addressed the need to renovate or replace the older school facilities and also addressed overcrowding in elementary schools in the northeastern part of the county.
“Improving the school construction process was an area of emphasis for this current School Board,” School Board Chair Rob Thompson said. “We have worked hard to better define the scope of projects, stay within or below the proposed budgets, and deliver completed projects on time. As a result, we have become more effective stewards of the investments our taxpayers made in public education.”
Renovations to Monacan High and Providence Middle were the first two 2013 bond referendum projects completed.
During the 2017-18 school year, the School Board took a strategic look at costs and returns on investment when discussing the concept of renovations vs. replacement schools. The School Board decided that the cost increase for a longer use cycle of a new school vs. the life cycle of a renovation was a strategic investment that could save construction dollars in the future. Replacement schools also allowed for more equitable and safer schools across the entire county.
As a result, the construction project schedule was modified to include seven new replacement schools and one new elementary school to address overcrowding. With Tuesday’s groundbreaking, all eight elementary and middle school projects will be underway or complete:
- Beulah and Enon elementary schools replacement projects opened during the 2018-19 school year.
- Old Hundred Elementary opened in September 2019.
- Construction on the replacement of Manchester Middle, Matoaca Elementary, and Harrowgate Elementary continues. The new Manchester Middle is scheduled to open in fall 2020, the new Matoaca Elementary in fall 2020 and the new Harrowgate Elementary in fall 2020.
- Construction on the replacements for Crestwood and Ettrick elementary schools have just begun.
- Groundbreaking for the replacement of Reams Elementary is scheduled for Oct. 15
“By the end of these elementary school rebuilds, each of the five magisterial districts in Chesterfield County will have a brand new elementary school. That’s equity!” Thompson said.
Added Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty: “The overwhelming support by the community when they voted for the 2013 bond referendum speaks volumes about the importance of equity across Chesterfield County. The completion of these construction projects provides our students and teachers with remarkable learning environments where they feel safe and supported as they imagine tomorrow.”
About Reams Road Elementary
The existing Reams Road Elementary school opened in 1968. The 51-year-old school building, which at one time featured an open-school concept, has undergone two renovations. The last renovation was completed in 1997. A new 750-student school is scheduled to open in fall 2021.
Attached to this release are two videos showing the construction process at the recently opened Old Hundred Elementary and the still-in-progress Matoaca Elementary.