August 30, 2008

Division to Appoint Panel to Review Its Capital Improvements Plan


By Hattie Brown Garrow

The Virginian-Pilot


Confronted with slowing growth and changing needs, the city's school division plans to re-evaluate its 10-year capital improvements plan . The School Board will appoint a committee to lead the way.

Board members have already decided on the replacement of Southwestern Elementary School and the renovation of Robertson Elementary School as top building priorities. Other projects could be changed, pushed back or removed altogether.

The City Council approves the funding of the school system's capital improvements. In addition to the Southwestern and Robertson projects, the council's latest plan includes building a new middle school, slated for funding from 2011 to 2013.

Now is the time to address the needs at existing facilities, Superintendent Milton Liverman told the School Board in July .

At the same time, he said, some of the planned school expansions and renovations - including work set for Florence Bowser Elementary School - may no longer be necessary.

"We're at a lull right now," Liverman said. "We're growing at less than 1 percent."

The School Board is looking for 11 to 15 people from each borough to serve on a committee that will revisit the division's current capital improvements plan. It now contains about 20 projects.

"I think it's a good idea to have another set of eyes," said Vice Chairman James Perkinson.

The group will be modeled after one formed by the city in the 1990s. The volunteers studied growth trends, building usage and other topics. Their suggestions were the basis for the long-range plan the division has been using for the past few years.

Liverman said he hopes the new committee is set by the end of September. He also suggested board members ask City Council to appoint or recommend some candidates.

Anyone interested in joining the committee should contact board clerk Cynthia Chavis at (757) 925-6752.

Hattie Brown Garrow, (757) 222-5562,

[email protected]

Originally published by BY HATTIE BROWN GARROW.

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