As the new high school takes shape, a new day approaches for Highland Springs

A new day is coming soon for Highland Springs.

The new Highland Springs High School will open this fall, ushering in a new era in the small community, whose current high school is among the oldest buildings in the county’s school system.

The new version is taking shape next to the existing site, overlooking Airport Drive.

During a site visit for school officials and members of the media on May 28, Principal Kenneth White marveled at the structure, but said his real enthusiasm was based on the learning opportunities that the school would offer, with open spaces that will make collaborative teaching efforts more mainstream.

The floor plan of the new building is based largely on that of Glen Allen High School and features plenty of natural light, as well as open library and cafeteria areas inside and courtyard spaces outside. . The project also includes the construction of a new athletics and football field, where workers began laying sod in the afternoon heat on Friday, as dump trucks moving around the site sent clouds of dust in the sky.

The new building is the result of discussions that took place after county voters approved a 2016 bond referendum that included (among other things) $ 55 million for the renovation of Tucker High School.

When the conversation among elected officials finally turned to using those funds for a competitive rebuilding of Tucker, Varina District Supervisor Tyrone Nelson pleaded for a similar effort in Highland Springs, whose existing building has opened in 1952 and underwent a small scale renovation years ago.

In the end, county officials applied $ 42 million in funding from the 2016 referendum that was slated for the construction of a new advanced vocational education center in the Varina district for the reconstruction of Highland. Springs as part of a revised spending plan to fund the project, which in 2018 was heralded as an $ 80 million effort, but is now expected to exceed $ 100 million.

Nelson believes the impact of the new school will extend beyond the classroom and into the community at large, inspiring residents and attracting other redevelopment opportunities and businesses that want to be a part of the growth. from the community.

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