Changes coming to Christiansburg schools

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CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) Tuesday night parents in Christiansburg got a closer look at proposed changes to schools. It could be years before any work starts on new buildings or renovations to current schools.

Instead, work will first start on the gridiron.

It will begin with a new turf football field and rubberized track. Plans also call for a new softball field, baseball stands, locker rooms, and concessions.

Some people ask why start here instead of on new classrooms?

"Well it comes down to finances. The athletic facilities upgrades will cost about five million the new or renovated is about 70 million," said Mark Miear, the Montgomery County Schools superintendent.

Like many school systems, funding for large projects is hard to get. The process has been challenging for Montgomery County Public Schools.
That's why county school leaders are prioritizing their renovation projects. Some are more needed than others as Christiansburg schools age and run out of room.

"We're having capacity issues at both the elementary level and the high school level. We still have trailers at some of our elementary schools and trailers at the high school. Our facilities at the high school greatly need updating," Miear said.

Proposed changes include renovations to Christiansburg High School. It would look something like this, and add more classroom space, an addition to the gym, and new athletic fields.

Those changes won't come until about 2022.

Montgomery County Schools also plans to build a new elementary school, combining some schools to relieve space.

"What we're looking at doing is building a new elementary school in the northwest end of the county which would combine the Belview students with part of the Christiansburg Elementary and Christiansburg Primary students," Miear said.

As we've reported before, the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors seems to stand behind renovations rather than building new schools. It's a better bang for their buck according to the county. Supervisors voted down the pitch to raise taxes to pay for the new school buildings.

The superintendent says these proposed plans do not include a tax increase for the county.

To learn more, follow this link: http://www.mcps.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=92248&pageId=10440066