Pulaski County schools plan next step after referendum passes

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PULASKI, Va. (WDBJ7) Pulaski County will get a new middle school. A referendum passed on election day will support the $47 million price tag and debt.

But the new building won't appear overnight.

The school division projects construction on the school will start as early as the the fall of next year and be open by fall of 2020.

School leaders officially began their planning with architects in January of this year with the hopes this referendum would pass.

"We're all extremely thrilled that the support was as great as it was," said Dr. Kevin Siers, the superintendent of Pulaski County schools.

After months of campaigning, of sorts, the school division and county can now focus on planning and construction.

A timeline, assembled by the school division and architects, lays out the proposed details of those phases.

"We're going to have a conference with the architect and revisit the timeline that was established during the site selection and initial design process," Siers said.

The end goal? A new combined Pulaski County Middle School. Renderings show an idea of what the school may look like. They include the exact details of each classroom, outfitted with technology and space the school district says their current two middle schools desperately need.

"I've never worked anywhere, where schools are in a bad of shape as what we have with out middle schools here in Pulaski County. We were really at a critical juncture with having to do something," Siers said.

The proposed plans show space for 42 classrooms, three large collaboration areas, and other middle school necessities on this section of land between Pulaski Elementary School and Pulaski County High School on route 11.

"It will allow us to offer courses that we currently cannot offer at our middle schools, such as a robotics or mechatronics class," Siers said.

The county administrator, Jonathan Sweet, tells WDBJ7 he got in touch with financial consultants this morning about the timing of their next step.

Within the next several weeks the county will work with the school board to finalize the design and advance this project.