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Facility needs in Richmond (Va.) district top $740 million

Nov. 21, 2017
Interim superintendent presents updated plan to address the system's deteriorating school buildings.

The Richmond (Va.) school district says it will need more than $740 million to modernize the district’s aging facilities.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Interim Superintendent Tommy Kranz has presented two options to the school board. Plan A has a projected cost of close to $800 million, and Plan B would cost about $741 million. A vote on the options is expected next month.
Kranz outlined details for Phase I of Plan A during his presentation, but he did not have details on Plan B until School Board members pressed him on specifics.

Phase I of Plan A, with a projected cost of $221 million, covers the first five years of the 20-year plan. It calls for building four replacement schools: one high, one middle and two elementary campuses.

Plan B, which has a similar first phase as Plan A’s, calls for more consolidation and would result in larger schools. The increase use of consolidation in Plan B leads to the $55 million difference in cost.

The school system is dealing with deteriorating facilities across the city because of years of deferred maintenance and neglect. 

The latest version of a facilities plan, known as Option Five, would have closed 16 schools, built seven new schools and renovated the remaining 21 over 15 years with a combined estimated cost of $563 million. Option Five stalled because of the city’s limited debt capacity, but many parts of the new plan are similar to options in Option Five.

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