At its December 10 meeting, the Williamsburg-James City County School Board approved the FY21-FY30 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) which maps out building and facility needs for the next 10 years. The $165,621,738 CIP includes routine building maintenance and refurbishment plans as well as athletic field and playground projects. The most significant items are the planned expansions at the division’s three high schools, an auxiliary gym at Warhill High School, and the construction of a new elementary school.
With elementary enrollment at 97.4%, overcrowding at the division’s elementary schools and the immediate need for a new school are the most critical capital issues addressed in this CIP. In schools across Williamsburg and James City County, students are learning in trailers, hallways, converted storage closets, lunchrooms, teacher workspaces, and other common areas of the building. The photos and virtual tour below show some of the cramped and repurposed spaces that are being used for small group learning, speech therapy, tutoring, gifted services, and reading intervention.
When reviewing the CIP, the superintendent and school board consider the cost and timeline of every project. As good stewards of the taxpayers’ money, they want to ensure that the CIP is based on need and supported by data. They also consider whether projects meet the following criteria:
- provide for the health, safety, and welfare of students and employees;
- meet the instructional space needs of students;
- ensure the long-term maintenance of infrastructure; or,
- support the shared school-community use of buildings whenever possible.