Botetourt County plans to build new Colonial Elementary School

Current school was built 79 years ago

(Ferre' Dollar/CNN)

BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. – Botetourt County is making plans for a new elementary school to replace Colonial Elementary School, built 79 years ago.

The new spot being looked at as a possible location is 142 Murray Drive in Troutville, about three miles away from the current school. The property is being reviewed to make sure it can hold the school.

The Botetourt County School Board authorized two motions in a special meeting.

The first motion authorized BCPS Administration to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for architectural and engineering services related to the design of the school.

The second motion authorized BCPS Administration to assemble an application for the Spring Pool Bond Issuance through the Virginia Public School Authority for the construction.

Planning for the new Colonial Elementary School has been a collaborative effort between the School Board, Board of Supervisors and the Botetourt Economic Development Authority.

Colonial used to be a community high school that served the Blue Ridge area. It all began as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's (FDR) "New Deal" where federal funds were used to support the building of 45,000 new schools throughout the United States. The current structure was built in 1939, using a portion of this federal funding as well as school model plans provided by the FDR administration. The building was subsequently expanded or renovated in 1949, 1969, 1975 and most recently in 1985.

Blue Ridge District School Board Member, Scott Swortzel said, "This is a great day for Blue Ridge and a great day for Botetourt County. To those who stood with us in that field years ago, I thank you for your support and belief that this would happen. I am particularly proud of our teachers, staff, children, and families at Colonial Elementary School. This is for you!"

Blue Ridge Board of Supervisors Member, Billy Martin said, "After pursuing this project for the past eight years, I am delighted that it has finally come to fruition. Colonial Elementary was built 79 years ago, and while there is nothing wrong with age, our teachers and children in Botetourt County deserve to have a clean and updated environment in which to work and learn. It is good to recognize the families and staff that have been working so hard in adverse conditions over the years while teaching our children. We are so proud to finally see this happen."

There will be two meetings to discuss the progress and overall plans. The first meeting will be for the Colonial Elementary School Parents and community held at Colonial Elementary School on Thursday, March 1 at 7:00 p.m.

The second meeting will be a Joint Public Hearing meeting with the Botetourt County School Board, Botetourt County Board of Supervisors and the Botetourt Economic Development Authority held at Lord Botetourt High School on Thursday, March 29 at 7:00 p.m.

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