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A recent infusion of $50 million in state grant money will boost construction projects for Danville Public Schools and allow other upgrades to begin ahead of schedule.
The funding comes from the School Construction Assistant Program and was awarded by the Virginia Board of Education.
Danville Public Schools applied for the money, which was announced in May, for school projects identified after the 1% sales tax passed in 2021.
School leaders plan to use the grants to offset the costs of three projects, according to a news release. That way, some of the revenue from the sales tax can go toward other elementary schools, like Forest Hills and Woodberry Hills, allowing those facilities to be renovated ahead of schedule.
Specifically, the school system plans to use $13 million to build a new school to replace G.L.H. Johnson Elementary. The Danville School Board recently approved a new name for the building Arnett Hills Elementary that will be constructed on the same campus.
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About $13.5 million will help with the renovation of the John M. Langston campus that will become a new home for Galileo Magnet High School, a new middle school STEM academy and house offices for administrative staff, the school system reported.
George Washington High School will use $23 million for its ongoing renovations. Updates to the second floor, the first phase of the project there, are expected to be finished this summer.
Since the passing of the 1% sales tax for school construction, the costs of construction has escalated significantly, Superintendent Angela Hairston said in a statement. The increase in construction costs forced us to waitlist projects.”
Now via a money shuffle, they can get a jump on plans to fix up schools that are more than 80 years old, Hairston said.
Danville was one of 28 school divisions to receive funding from this particular grant system. Pittsylvania County and neighboring Halifax County also snagged money for renovation projects.
We are so grateful to the Virginia Board of Education for awarding us these funds, Danville School Board Chair TyQuan Graves said in the release. Our students and staff deserve high quality school buildings, and the grants will help us make that a reality.
Charles Wilborn (434) 791-7976