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Western Albemarle High School Science Labs Getting Upgrade

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Science labs at Western Albemarle High School Science labs at Western Albemarle High School
Darah Bonham, Western Albemarle High School principal Darah Bonham, Western Albemarle High School principal
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

An Albemarle County high school science department is getting a major upgrade.

The science labs at Western Albemarle High School (WAHS) have not changed since the school was opened in 1977 which means they will turn 40 years old this fall. An addition to the school and a renovation to those labs will help support the growing science programs at the school.

Thanks to the November 2016 Albemarle County Public School bond referendum, WAHS will be making a $5.5 million enhancement to its science programs. The bond referendum allowed Albemarle County to issue $35 million in bonds to finance improvements at 25 schools.

The project at WAHS includes updating seven labs and adding a 1,000 square foot addition to the property.

These upgrades are necessary to support the growing environmental studies academy that the school offers to nearly 200 students across the county. 

“The science labs, some of them, have been in existence since late ‘70s when they were constructed and the way education and the learning opportunities for kids are changing,” said Darah Bonham, WAHS principal. 

The renovations are currently in the planning stage and Western Albemarle High School hopes to break ground on the enhancements about a year from now.

Bonham says at the end of this past school year, science teachers got to visit other high schools that have recently made upgrades as well as Piedmont Virginia Community College and the University of Virginia to gather information on how to best design the new spaces.

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