Lynchburg Schools 5-year plan includes new building for Sandusky Elementary

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Lynchburg City Schools has their eye on a brand new building for Sandusky Elementary.

The School Board voted Wednesday, Nov. 4, on a five-year Capital Improvement Plan.

That plan includes $37 million for a new school, but it’s in the early stages, and a final funding decision on this is years away.

Capital Improvement Plans (CIP) need to be approved by the Lynchburg City Council during their budgeting process in the spring, and they’d vote on projects one year out. For example, they’ll work on the district’s plan for 2022 this coming March, but the District isn’t planning to build the new school until 2025.

“That building has basically outlived its useful life,” said Steve Gatzke, Senior Director of Finance and Operations with Lynchburg City Schools.

A new building for Sandusky Elementary has been on the CIP for many years.

“We had already started in the design process four or five years ago when the city experienced some other high price tag priorities,” said Gatzke. “What we’re doing now is we’re trying to get back on track.”

Sandusky was built in 1964, and it’s showing its age.

“It needs a new roof, it needs a completely new hvac system, it needs a new electrical system,” said Gatzke. “The cost of renovating that building and bringing it up to today’s standards would probably get us to what what a new building would cost anyhow.”

Superintendent Dr. Crystal Edwards told the Board Wednesday that the CIP is a list of needs, not desires.

“If we don’t attend to this item, whatever this item is,” she said, giving a few examples in addition to the new school, “we’re going to be servicing it at some point later if we don’t.”

Gatzke says the longer projects like this are delayed, the more expensive they get.

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