New School Property on Route 360 – Henry District
On December 14, 2022, the Board of Supervisors took an action on the purchase of real property by the County for a future Middle School and High School in the Mechanicsville area.
The Board of Supervisors and the School Board have been searching for a site that would be adequate for the replacement of Mechanicsville High School and Bell Creek Middle School. Location, acreage, infrastructure, school operations, and price have been just a few of the many items that the County and the School Board have had to consider. After honing in on a few locations that met the necessary criteria, the County is excited to share that we have found a location that meets all those criteria. The site, which is made up of 10 contiguous parcels of land consisting of just over 113 acres, is in the eastern portion of the County, on the north side of Route 360. It is important to know that before the purchase is finalized with the landowners, the County will complete a due diligence period that could take 6 months or more. This will include surveys, environmental studies, wetland delineations, stream assessments, traffic studies, and cultural resource studies. In addition, the sale is contingent on the approval of an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan to show the property as a future school site.
The Comprehensive Plan Amendment is a public process over the course of several months and will look at a draft layout for the property and the potential impacts to the road network and the surrounding community. The County and the Hanover County Public Schools will engage with our residents and receive public feedback on the location as well as discuss land use, infrastructure planning, and long-term financial planning. As part of this process, State Code requires that public hearings be held by the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors before the Board decides whether to approve the Comprehensive Plan amendment or not, but there will be multiple ways for the public to be involved.
There are many steps to take still, but after the Board came out of their closed session on December 14, they made the following 2 motions:
- The Board authorized the County Administrator to execute a contract for the purchase of GPIN’s 8735-39-8725, 8735-48-6690, 8735-58-2226, 8735-47-7089, 8735-56-4937, 8735-57-9451, 8735-57-9003, 8735-57-7194, 8735-56-8903, and 8735-48-1188 at a cost of $4,500,000, which includes contingencies allowing for a due diligence period and for the adoption of a Comprehensive Plan amendment showing the property as a future high school and middle school site.
- The Board authorized the County Administrator to approve all financial actions necessary to continue land acquisition activity including the transfer of Reserve for Contingencies to the Capital Improvements Program in an amount up to $232,500.
Hanover County Schools
The Hanover County School Board and Superintendent have been fully engaged on this project and process to-date and are in agreement with the above motions by the Board of Supervisors.
To see a map of the parcels, please click here.
Please click here to see a high-level conceptual layout that was used for the sole purpose of verifying that the contiguous parcels are adequate for both a High School and a Middle School.
It is important to note that as this process moves forward and the due diligence period completed, the layout is subject to change.
- Contract signing: expected to be completed by the end of December 2022. A copy of the contract will be posted when it is fully executed.
- Due diligence: December 2022 - June 2023
- Comprehensive Plan Amendment: May 2023 – December 2023
- Expected Architectural/Engineering Services: 2023
For further information, please contact Mike Flagg, Director of Public Works at 804-365-6181 or Todd Kilduff, Deputy County Administrator at 804-365-3310