School Board unveils 10-year capital improvement plan


As expected, increasing student enrollment and aging buildings dominated the Alexandria School Boards discussion of public school systems decade-long capital improvement plan. 
Included in the $384.3 million roadmap are new schools, modular classrooms and renovations intended to offset the growth of the citywide student population by 1,700 while sustaining existing schools. 
Under the proposed CIP, ACPS would install 20 modular classrooms in the 2012-2013 school year at the Charles Barrett, Patrick Henry and James K. Polk elementary schools. The Patrick Henry site eventually would include a second school building and the existing Cora Kelly elementary school would be replaced with a new structure.
For planning purposes, a public-private partnership for a new Jefferson-Houston is off the table. Instead, officials have included a further $39 million in the CIP for a new structure on that site. 
If you wish to bring that forward, thats your right to do that, Superintendent Morton Sherman told the board.
Projected enrollments indicate the city will need a fourth kindergarten through eighth grade school sometime in the next decade, officials said. They have not determined where that school would be located. 
Other improvements include new elevators at William Ramsay Elementary School and Francis C. Hammond Middle School.
Sherman also indicated the school district would try to move toward a new way to pay for the CIP in the long term.  
I would hope the discussion begins about other ways of funding CIP. We are fiscally dependent to the city, he said. We know over the long term the economy will eventually turn and become positivev [Lets] begin that conversation and see if theres another way of funding not only the CIP, but potentially the operating budget.