ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. - Thousands of students in Roanoke County are wondering where their classrooms will be next year.
The school board heard from dozens Tuesday night about what should be done to accommodate the students and teachers during an upcoming renovation to Cave Spring High School. Due to outrage from parents, two options have already been taken out of consideration.
Parents and students learned, at least for now, school board members are no longer considering sending students to Hidden Valley High School or Tanglewood Mall during construction.
"Thankfully, as a Titan, that you were getting rid of option two, and also as a mom that you're getting rid of the Tanglewood option, both of which I thought were horrible ideas," Hidden Valley parent Frances Rogers said.
It provides a sigh of relief for hundreds but still leaves the question of what to do with the students. Right now, the board is considering putting students in trailers or doing the construction in phases so students wouldn't have to move at all. But the idea that got the most support wasn't on the board's list.
"I haven't heard of why we are not looking at building a brand new building right in the parking lot," Cave Spring parent Stuart Robertson said.
Robertson said a new school makes the most sense.
"You open up these walls, problems come out. There's no way to prepare for everything whether it be asbestos, whether it be mold, whether it be whatever the case may be. When you open up a reconstruction project, as everyone knows, projects exceed the allotted amount," Robertson said.
In fact, meeting minutes show the more than $37 million project is already about $800,000 over budget. Plus, students say they want to stay right where they are.
"Hidden Valley is, it's a really nice school, but it's really small and thinking about putting our whole school here, that thought terrified me," sophomore Lena Scare said.
Scare spoke to the board about Cave Spring's deteriorating conditions.
"A lot of the water fountains don't work, a lot of the bathrooms don't work," Scare said.
Right now, the board says all options are on the table, but a decision must be made by the end of the year. Robertson said he hopes it doesn't come down to thousands being displaced.
"I just think we need to make this decision that's best for everyone and what's best for this community is a new school," Robertson said.
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