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Assessment: Albemarle Schools Need Renovations - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Assessment: Albemarle Schools Need Renovations

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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va (WVIR) -

A group of parents and school leaders have assessed Albemarle County schools, and say they need some major renovations.

The renovation will cost more than $200 million. School officials say they hope the renovations take place within the next five years.

Woodbrook Elementary is a prime example of a school in need; it would require $14 million. The school hopes to add 16 new classrooms and a new gym.

School officials say the price assessment this year is much higher than in years past. But it would take care of two major issues: growth and modernization.

"We have experienced quite a bit of growth in the last couple years. A lot of it has been surprisingly around the 29 corridor, around our urban ring schools, namely Greer, Agnor-Hurt, and Woodbrook,” said ACPS Assistant Superintendent Billy Haun.

Haun says they had planned for expansion in those schools, just not this fast.

"Two years ago, we just added onto Greer. We added 150 seats there, which is a lot to add onto an elementary school. We're already 25 students over the building capacity,” Haun said.

Because of that overflow, students are being moved to other schools where there's room.

"We're in the process of just beginning an expansion at Agnor-Hurt. We're really worried that by the time we finish that, the way the growth is going, we're going to be back close to capacity, so we just moved some students out of Agnor-Hurt into some other schools,” Haun said.

Haun says the other big endeavor is modernizing classrooms. The county wants to move more toward project-based learning, which means a drastic change in the classrooms’ setup.

"They want students who can go out and think critically, work in groups, and do project-based work. It's no longer the day where you go into a room and have rows of classes, you have seats in a classroom and teachers are standing up front and just lecturing,” Haun said.

Haun does say that dollar figure is likely to drop. It has to go through a separate review by three county boards before it's presented to supervisors. The plan will be up for a vote by them sometime next spring.

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