Waynesboro School Board Seeks Millions for School Upgrades
City councilors and school board members walk the halls of Waynesboro High School and discuss the possibility of funding an upgrade
The wish list for Waynesboro City Schools includes a $10 million upgrade to its 75-year-old high school. Teachers and school board members say it's out of date and out of space compared to more modern campuses.
The school board invited members of City Council on a tour to see a new high school back to back with Waynesboro's aging building.
School board member Linda Jones has two sons at Waynesboro High School.
"I don't think you really realize what you don't have in your school division until you see something new and better," said Jones.
The group went to East Rockingham High School first. From a fully equipped shop class to several shiny gyms to wireless classrooms outfitted with smart-boards and computers, board members say East Rockingham High is a model for improvements needed at Waynesboro High.
"We have the same functions in our high school, but we just don't have the facilities to perform them as well and offer our kids the same kind of advantages that students in East Rockingham have," said Jeremy Taylor, school board chairman.
The group then traveled to Waynesboro High, a 75-year-old school where the original office is wired as a computer lab and asbestos lies beneath floor tiles.
"I didn't see anything that was just horrific," said Jeff Freeman, city councilor. "I'm more positive that we've done real well with what we have."
The school board needs City Council's support for $10 million to modernize science labs, build a new gym with locker rooms, and put air-conditioning in all parts of the campus.
"We need to align our philosophies before we talk specifics of funding," said Taylor.
Jones hopes council sees the contrast in education quality.
"We're still a long way from having that state-of-the-art school experience we want to give our kids," said Jones.
The high school isn't alone on the school board's capital improvement plan. Berkeley Glenn and Wenonah elementaries are also due for upgrades.
The group hopes the Tuesday's trip will start conversations on how to fund these projects.
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