The Hanover County Board of Supervisors has authorized a contract on just over 113 acres in the Henry District for the potential site of a replacement Middle School and High School. Long term planning is a key priority for the Board of Supervisors and this site could accommodate Mechanicsville High School and Bell Creek Middle School when those buildings are replaced in future years.
“Identifying a site that had over 100 contiguous building acres with good access and could accommodate both a middle school and a high school complex that was well placed for the catchment area of the current schools was a key driver for us,” said John A. Budesky, County Administrator. “After reviewing numerous locations, we believe we have identified a site that meets the necessary criteria.” The site is located on the north side of U.S. Rt. 360, between the intersections of Walnut Grove Road and Pole Green Road.
“I am pleased to begin the process of evaluating this property for the suitability of future school sites,” said Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Sean Davis, in whose district the site is located. “I’m certainly proud that the site is in the Henry District, but at the end of the day, this is an asset for all Hanover County residents.”
Hanover County is now beginning a due diligence period that could take 6 months or more. This will include surveying, 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.
Citizen engagement will be key as the process continues to finalize all necessary steps to execute the final purchase. Public hearings will be held before any amendment to the Comprehensive Plan is approved.
Hanover will pay $4.5 million for the project with contingencies allowing for the due diligence period and the adoption of the Comprehensive Plan amendment. The School Board and Superintendent have been engaged on this project and process and agree with the motions adopted by the Board of Supervisors on December 14.
“While we are still very much in the early planning stages of this project, this is a significant step towards meeting our long-term capital needs,” said Dr. Michael Gill, Superintendent of Schools. “Most importantly, this development demonstrates our ongoing commitment to providing our students, faculty, and staff with state-of-the-art facilities that help foster the relevant and innovative learning that we pride ourselves on in Hanover County Public Schools. Just as the School Board and Board of Supervisors – as well as school division and county administration – have worked hand-in-hand in the early stages of this project, we look forward to collaborating with Mechanicsville residents and our broader community in the coming years on this exciting construction project that will serve generations to come.”
“Hanover County Public Schools has a strong Tradition of Excellence and while we remain years away from rebuilding these two schools, I am grateful to be working closely with our Board of Supervisors, county administration, and school division administration to make this project a reality, continuing that proud tradition for generations to come,” said John F. Axselle III, School Board Chair.
The contract signing is scheduled to be completed by the end of this month. More details on this project can be read here.