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HCHS upkeep plan to be aired

SoVaNow.com / October 14, 2019
Responding to concerns about the run-down state of the high school, the Halifax County School Board will hear a plan Thursday night for ongoing maintenance at a new or newly renovated Halifax County High School — all part of the campaign to convince county voters to approve a 1 percent local sales tax for school capital projects.

The presentation, by interim director of Secondary Education Scott Worner, is on the agenda for the monthly meeting of the School Board, set for Oct. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at Sydnor Jennings Elementary School.

Worner is expected to lay out a regular schedule for major maintenance at the high school, which county officials are hoping to modernize through passage of the sales tax referendum on Nov. 5. With either a new building or a renovated facility, the public needs assurances that the mistakes of the past won’t happen again, said Superintendent of Schools Mark Lineburg.

Calling the current condition of HCHS “not acceptable,” Lineburg said a planned schedule of maintenance is essential for avoiding a repeat. “The high school is such a big building, you need dedicated money for it,” he said. “It’s the most used building we have [in the division]. It’s our centerpiece.”

In broad terms, Lineburg said the maintenance schedule should cover items that need to be replaced over time, such as roofs, athletic equipment and facilities, flooring and sidewalks and HVAC systems. The boilers and chillers now in use at the high school are largely original to the building, which opened in 1979.

Three different outside consulting firms — local engineers B&B Consultants, Moseley Architects and OWPR Architects & Engineers — have determined that the HVAC systems at the high school have long outlived their useful lifespans and should be replaced. The cost is estimated to be around $29 million, roughly a third of the estimated price tag for a new school building.

Lineburg said a standalone maintenance budget for the high school will be needed whether the referendum passes or not.

“There are repairs to the high school that have to be done,” he said. “The referendum is going to dictate how much is done.”

Lineburg noted that HCHS is unique because of its size and the amount of usage it receives — and in contrast to HCHS, “our other school buildings are pretty well maintained,” he said. “Same workforce, same materials.”

However, it’s a “balancing act” to secure the needed budget funds to adequately maintain the high school building, another reason to break out the HCHS maintenance budget separately.

“This is the beginning process of how we’re going to ensure the long-term maintenance of the high school,” Lineburg said.

At the School Board’s meeting on Thursday, Lineburg and other members of the school staff also will talk about the work that Halifax County and three other Virginia school divisions are doing to reinvent how high schools operate in Virginia.

Earlier this year, Halifax and three other counties — Mecklenburg, Charles City and Henrico — won a $50,000 Virginia Department of Education grant to redesign Virginia high schools under the Governor’s Profile of a Graduate initiative. Lineburg said school officials from all four divisions have been communicating regularly as they rethink how a high school should work.

“It’s really an exciting thing,” he said, noting that “there are three components that we’re working on.” He said the components consist of:

» a model of instruction that emphasizes collaborative learning;

» adding a student advisory block as part of the regular school schedule;

» developing apprenticeship programs, job internships and work-ready training programs.

“We’re sharing curricula, we’re sharing ideas, we’re sharing connections,” said Lineburg of the discussions by members of all four school divisions.

Everywhere but Charles County, the school divisions are either building or renovating new schools or seeking to do so. Henrico is making major capital improvements to two of its high schools while Mecklenburg is building a consolidated high school-middle school facility to replace four schools that are more than 60 years — two high schools and two middle schools, each set positioned on opposite ends of the county.

“It wasn’t intentional,” said Lineburg of the tie-in with the high school curriculum redesign and new construction projects, “but it is a good part of the process.”

The meeting at Sydnor Jennings is part of the School Board’s rotating schedule to highlight the learning that takes place at each of the county’s schools. The meeting is open to the public.



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57

Comments

VOTE NO on the tax increase. The county gets enough of our money as it is!

Comments

Anyone in this county who would vote to give this team of idiots more of their hard earned money has got to be brain dead. The citizens of this county cannot afford any more taxes. Who in the world would think this bunch of bufoons who screwed us all on the courthouse would use more tax money wisely. It was a planned effort for them to allow the High School to deteriorate like it has. Or, we have the poorest maintenance team for the schools on earth and we would be better to sub contract workers, for sure.
I hope everyone will vote NO,NO,NO!!!!!!!
Don't vote to give these jerks more of our money.

Comments

Who is paying for all of these signs to vote yes? It cant be cheap and I'll bet the county taxpayers is footing the bill. Vote No on the School TAX!!!

Comments

I have been trying to find out who is paying for them as well. They are suppose to list this with the Dept of elections I have not been able to find it. I would not be surprised if not some county tax money going to this. Please write letters to the editors of both papers to counter the yes people.

Comments

Here is the money backing this tax increase:
Schedule A: Direct Contributions Over $100
Full Name of Contributor
Mailing Address of Contributor
Donor Information
1. Employer or Business (If Corporate/Company Donor: N/A)
2. Type of Business(If Corporate Donor Type of Business)
3. Business Location
Date
Received
Contribution
This Period
Aggregate
To Date
Industrial Development Authority
1100 Confroy Drive
South Boston, VA 24592
1.
2.Economic Development Office
3.South Boston, VA
09/18/2019 $20,000.00 $20,000.00
Southern Virginia Higher Education Center
820 Bruce Street
South Boston, VA 24592
1.
2.Higher Education Center
3.South Boston, Virginia
09/25/2019 $5,000.00 $5,000.00
Total This Period $25,000.00
1 of 9
Got to this link: https://cfreports.elections.virginia.gov/Report/Index/181175
Our tax money hard at work! Total conflict of interest IMHO

Comments

Any comments from our illustrious BOS?? Thieves!! Fake news covers for them.


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