Funding plan develops for Prince Edward Elementary renovations

Published 4:42 am Thursday, May 16, 2024

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How will the county pay for renovations at Prince Edward Elementary? That’s been a question raised since Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin vetoed Prince Edward’s request for a 1% sales tax increase. 

Now we have a better idea of where the estimated $43 to $44 million will come from. Most will be borrowed, with some coming in the form of a grant. During their Tuesday, May 14 meeting, Prince Edward County Administrator Doug Stanley told supervisors the school district recently received a $8.655 million grant from the Virginia Capital School Projects Fund. That leaves roughly $35 million for the county to pay for. 

“With the assistance of Davenport $ Company, the County will be structuring a multi-faceted financing plan,” Stanley said. 

Breaking down financing

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One part of that moved forward Tuesday night, as supervisors approved an application to the Virginia Literary Loan Fund. If Prince Edward gets approved, the county would be able to borrow up to $25 million at a 3% interest rate, to be paid back over a 20-year period. That vote was unanimous, with Supervisor Cannon Watson abstaining, due to the fact he owns a portion of Davenport. 

That was the first part. Once Prince Edward gets approved for the loan, county staff will work on step two. Depending on how much the loan is for, county staff will then go to the Virginia Public School Authority this fall, to finance the rest. That loan will be based on the market rate at the time, with a term of up to 25 to 30 years to pay back. 

As we’ve covered many times before, Prince Edward County Elementary has multiple roof leaks, problems where some classrooms are unusable due to mold and traffic problems due to the current design, just to name a few of the issues that renovations will deal with. And supervisors have already signed off on the renovation plan, with construction expected to begin later this year. 

The construction plan for Prince Edward Elementary

That was also a topic of discussion during this month’s school board meeting in Prince Edward. Board members signed off on a contract to connect utilities to the mobile classrooms, which is where some students will be relocated this fall as work begins. 

The timeline currently looks like temporary classrooms will be ready to go by July 19. That gives just over two weeks before school starts on Aug. 5. Everything is expected to be hooked up by that July date, so the only thing left will be to move instructional materials over.
The plan calls for 15 temporary classrooms this fall, with four additional module units used as student toilets and one final module as a teacher workspace.
Then, once the temporary classrooms are in place, a request for construction bids will be advertised in July, with the goal of getting them back in August.
Then the plan is for Moseley Architects, the group hired to develop the renovation plans, to look at those bids and come to the school board meeting in September with a recommendation about which to choose. 

The goal would be to get construction started by the second or third week in September. The total construction is expected to take about 30 months, finishing up around March of 2027.