Richmond leaders optimistic about Fox rebuild: 'The money is there'

Posted at 4:35 PM, Feb 10, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond City Council member Katherine Jordan and Richmond School Board member Mariah White presented a united front Friday and said the Fox community had nothing to worry about when it comes to funding the rebuild of William Fox Elementary.

Fire destroyed the historic school building in February 2022.

"School Board and City Council are united in getting this school rebuilt and reopened," Jordan, who represents neighborhoods that feed into Fox on City Council, said.

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Richmond City Council member Katherine Jordan (center) and Richmond School Board member Mariah White (left) discuss funding to rebuild William Fox Elementary with Melissa Hipolit.

IN-DEPTH COVERAGE: Fox Elementary School Fire

There is currently a $15 million shortfall between what the insurance company wants to give Richmond Schools for the building and the amount of money RPS said it would take to rebuild the school.

"The money is there, this is going to happen, kids are coming back," Jordan said.

Both said RPS was still negotiating with the insurance company and wanted constituents to write state legislators and Governor Glenn Youngkin (R - Virginia) because it was still possible for the state to give Richmond Schools some money for the rebuild.

But, even if those avenues do not work, Jordan said "the good thing is we have a meal's tax that has been creating funds for us to borrow against. On July 1, there will be $200 million the school board has access to. The $200 million can be used for Fox, it's at their discretion."

That is money school leaders previously said could go toward a new George Wythe High School and a new Fox.

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"I will definitely make sure I request that and make a motion as soon as July," White, who represents the Fox community on the Richmond School Board, said.

A representative from the insurance company, VaCorp, said they are still waiting for documentation from RPS to contest their offer.

However, they did say they had upped the amount they would give RPS by over a million dollars after getting into some new areas of the building.

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