Harrisonburg High School in Harrisonburg, Va., is over capacity, so the city has decided to build a 2nd high school.

Harrisonburg, Va., approves plan to build 2nd high school

Dec. 16, 2019
City council opts for $87.2 million plan to build school that would open in 2022.

The Harrisonburg, Va., City Council has voted to build a second high school that would cost $87.2 million and open in August 2022.

The Harrisonburg Daily News-Record reports that the council chose a plan to construct the school all at once; the second option called for building the school in phases—the sports fields, auxiliary gym and stadium would have been added on later.

Kathleen Holler of the Harrisonburg Education Association says the council should have planned for the new school a long time ago.

“The tax burden will continue to increase if something is not done now,” she says. “The cost of building a new high school increases each day, and our council continues to delay construction.”

Supporters of building a new school say no more time can be wasted, as Harrisonburg High School is over capacity and the enrollment continues to grow.

The city has already spent $8 million on the school: $5 million on the land and another $3 million on design fees.

Elizabeth Jertinski, who works for the school division, says a new campus will be worth the cost.

“We are not talking about money. It’s about the students,” she says. “Vote for students, education and the future of our amazing city and its fantastic amenities.”

With council’s vote to move forward, Nielsen Builders Inc. is expected to break ground on the new school soon.

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