After the Hanover School Board’s decision to have a school-wide evaluation of student capacity, buildings and enrollment in September, the school district has made some headway.
But at their Nov. 12 meeting, Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations David Myers told the board that there was still a lot of work to do.
“The next step in the process is to finalize and calculate capacity— building capacity and functional capacity,” Myers said.
He explained that specific classes like special education classrooms will not have 25 students and aren’t included in the calculations.
“We are in fact a month behind where we thought we’d be,” said Dr. Jamelle Wilson, superintendent of schools.
Each school is assessed thoroughly. Myers presented the Board with the first example, Battlefield Park Elementary School.
According to the Mechanicsville school’s 10-year facility improvement plan, the building will need an HVAC replacement in its gym by Fiscal Year 2015. Other work includes replacing some windows, playground equipment and the kitchen’s service line. The kitchen will also need to be renovated. All work estimated for Fiscal Year 2015 would total $380,000.
Between Fiscal Years 2015 and 2019, maintenance would cost about $1.2 million and in the following six to 10 years, $155,000. In the six- to 10-year period, the majority of improvements include interior painting, parking lots and a district-wide central clock system replacement.
Another aspect of the assessments is requests from principals. According to documents from the school division, principal Judith Bradley requested an upgrade on classroom and common bathrooms, window and playground equipment replacements as well as water fountain and exterior light replacements. Other requests included upgrading the wiring in some older classrooms and rewiring the building for a universal clock and bell system. Most of those are incorporated into the district’s one- to 10-year capital plan.
Myers said the division hired a contractor to look at the schools’ electrical services, which is a part of the capital plan.
Vice Chair Glenn T. Millican Jr., Mechanicsville representative, asked for an assessment of school cameras, security systems and telephone hook-ups.
“Some of these [cameras] are just not in good locations,” Millican said.
This study was a part of an initiative to address recent concerns about some schools being over capacity. The district defines overcrowding as being 20 percent more than capacity for three consecutive years.
Where the schools are at as far as their capacity is still to be determined.
Myers said that in the near future, the school division will present the board with enrollment projections that will include the impact of future population growth.
It is a long process because Myers and his staff have to go to each building and the school district was waiting for the county’s Comprehensive Plan to be finalized.
“We’re just not there yet,” Myers said.