Albemarle school leaders mull second high school center

Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 11:30 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Members of the Albemarle County School Board discussed the possibility of opening a second “high school center” during a meeting Monday in a bid to reduce overcrowding.

Center I, which opened in 2018 at Seminole Place on Route 29, offers a place for students to work on projects in non-traditional subjects like video production and engineering.

Kate Acuff, the vice chair of the board, said a second location — dubbed ‘Center II’ — would be a cheaper solution to constructing a new high school altogether. It would be built in a portion of the parking lot at Albemarle High School and be able to serve 400 students per day.

The lost parking spots at AHS could be moved to nearby Lambs Lane.

“In the short run, it’s going to be challenging,” said Acuff. “But we’re looking for spots.”

People from nearby neighborhoods expressed concerns over the impact Center II would have on traffic during a meeting Monday evening.

“It is really a pain already,” said Jennifer Burman. “We need to have the infrastructure in place before we build because otherwise, all you’re doing is pushing all of that onto our neighborhood and making that our problem.”

Acuff said the number of students commuting to the new high school center would likely be fewer than the 400 total in attendance.

“About half of those are projected to be from Albemarle High School,” she said. “We’ll have students also leaving Albemarle High School going to the other high schools for their career learning communities.”

The project remains in the early planning stages.

“We are listening to the concerns,” said Acuff. “We are hoping to direct the traffic away from proximity to their community. "

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