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Madison County Schools Finance 'Overdue' Improvements - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Madison County Schools Finance 'Overdue' Improvements

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Madison County schools are beginning the first of millions of dollars' worth of overdue updates, on everything from the football field to the classroom.

The county is planning a series of school projects to start in the new year that will total more than $9.6 million. The board of supervisors has finalized financing to pay for the 21 projects.

High school athletic director Phil Warren estimates the rusty bleachers at Madison County High School are about 40 years old. Bids are due December 4 to tear them down and put up a whole new grandstand.

Construction will start in early 2013 to finish in time for the next football season. The project will rebuild the press box and nearly double the stadium's capacity to 1,200 seats.

This is the first of the school capital improvement projects planned for next year.

"Long overdue," said Madison County Schools superintendent Dr. Matthew Eberhardt. "I explain to people that this is not so much a capital improvement project as much as it is a maintenance project. Things are breaking. Things are not useable."

A lot of the equipment in the high school's boiler room is from 1958. Crews will spend next summer replacing the heating and air systems at the high school and at Wetsel Middle School. The schools hope crews can finish before August to avoid interruptions and having to rent classroom trailers.

The updated technology should eliminate moisture problems which have damaged computers. Currently, dehumidifiers sit on top of the aging classroom radiators.

Supervisors are borrowing nearly $10.7 million to pay for the school and other county capital projects.

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