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Chesterfield Co. announces proposal to build two new middle schools, a year earlier than expected

Chesterfield Co School Board.png
Posted at 6:15 AM, Sep 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-09 06:55:44-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Chesterfield County leaders want to build two new middle schools, a year earlier than expected.

Tomahawk Creek Middle School and Falling Creek Middle School are currently facing capacity issues.

During the 2020-21 school year, Tomahawk Creek had 1,648 students in a school built to accommodate 1,358 , and Falling Creek had 1,431 students in a school built for 1,152. Both have had to use modular classroom units.

The new Tomahawk campus would be constructed on county-owned property in Upper Magnolia Green, along the western U.S. Route 360 corridor.

A new Falling Creek Middle School would be constructed on the school’s current site and feature a larger, modern building.

This announcement came Wednesday night during a rare, joint work session between Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors and School Board.

The school and county are proposing to make a one time payment of $27 million to a supplemental retirement plan (SRP) for Chesterfield School Employees, and reallocate future SRP contributions to pay off the school construction.

The proposal would also increase the school division’s share of the planned 2022 bond referendum by $130 million, if approved by voters next November.

"What we’re doing tonight is good for not only parents, students, but it’s also good business," explained Chesterfield County administrator Dr. Joseph Casey. "You are going to hear good business ideologies displayed here. You are going to hear the terms working together and collaborative like you’ve never heard before by the county and school staff that are before you."

Construction for each school is expected to cost about $65 million, and the hope is to open the schools by the start of the 2024-2025 school year.

The school board is expected to vote on this proposal at its meeting on Sept. 14, and there will be a public hearing on Sept. 22.