Cave Spring High School looks for replacement plan for student location during renovation

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7) Roanoke County students will not be combining into one school next year. This follows controversy last week when officials proposed for Cave Spring students to join Hidden Valley High School during renovation.

Following a public input meeting Tuesday, there still wasn't a set plan.

The School Board listened for more than an hour as ideas were pitched to them by families and community members.

But the night began with an apology for the School Board's decision last week.

Roanoke County Public Schools School Board Chairman Tim Greenway said to the crowd, "We moved too quickly and for that I take full responsibility as Chairman."

Then Greenway made a very popular announcement.

"I'm ready to take two options off the table. Those are the Tanglewood option and the combination of Cave Spring High School and Hidden Valley High School."

So what is the plan? Dozens stepped forward to give their ideas.

Justin Ditmore of Roanoke said, "Keeping the kids at Cave Spring High School and using the trailers and portable classrooms. It's what every other school with the county has done."

Michelle Austin of Roanoke County said, "There's some options with relocating the bus lot and doing some trailers there. Also if we properly phase this job, there's a way that kids can stay on this campus, I believe."

Cheryl Facciani of Roanoke County said, "I suggest that the Board at this time delay the renovation construction until you have the appropriate funding until you can have adequate educational modular cottages for the CSHS students."

Another speaker who said she has two children in school recommended, "Moving the high school students to the current middle school, the middle schoolers over to Hidden Valley."

Srilakshmi Lougher of Roanoke suggested, "You could keep the ninth graders in a trailer at the middle school and put the other high school kids at the Cave Spring High School in trailers, if you don't want to build a new building."

The last part of that suggestion was a popular idea Tuesday.

Stuart Robertson of Roanoke said, "I haven't heard of why we are not looking at building a brand new building right in the parking lot."

The School Board said a new building was never a plan as the cost would be so much higher. But everything suggested Tuesday will be considered.

There's one more meeting on November 27th at 6:30, now moved to Cave Spring High School following Tuesday's announcement. The Board hopes to have a decision on what to do with the students by the end of December.

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