Radford school leaders propose more than $30 million in renovations

RADFORD, Va. (WDBJ) -- This coming season, the bright lights on Friday nights at Radford High School are getting even brighter.

"The lights there are 50 years old, so we're going to replace those," said superintendent Rob Graham.

Upgrades to the Bobcats' athletic fields are just one of a number of proposed projects coming to Radford City Schools.

The largest among them? A complete remodel of McHarg Elementary.

"Currently we have everything housed in one area," said Michael Brown, the principal at McHarg. "Right now, we have a cafeteria, a gym and an auditorium in one space."

Brown said his building is at capacity, in terms of both electricity and space.

"We have maxed out every space in our building," he said. "We have counselors and other folks in closets. We're actually utilizing closets as work space."

The proposed remodel would include a separate, full-size gymnasium along with additional swing space to hold classes while renovations take place.

Other projects around the district include adding active learning classrooms at Dalton Intermediate School, as well as gym, locker room and other athletic facility renovations at RHS.

But with a price tag over $30 million for all of the district's upgrades, the schools are looking to the city for help.

"Right now, we're just in the initial stages of finding out what our funding options are," Graham said.

Over the next month, he said city leaders will look into how much debt they can take on.

For now, Graham said his focus is on helping make the schools he once attended the best they can be.

"There's a great amount of pride in Radford City and I think this is icing on the cake for us if we're able to be able to bring the type of facilities that we're looking at with the facility proposal that we have," he said.