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Master plan sought for Orange High
Orange School Board wants master plan for high school


Date published: 12/5/2012

BY DAN McFARLAND

While proceeding with a short-term solution to problems at Orange County High School, the School Board wants to develop a master plan for the facility to guide its long-term decisions.

Meeting Monday at Gordon Barbour Elementary School in Gordonsville, the board unanimously passed resolutions authorizing school administrators to procure five modular classroom units to be installed on the front lawn of the high school, with a total budget of $350,000 for the project. It also agreed to invite proposals for the renovation of several classrooms within the building, with a budget limit of $500,000.

Both proposals had previously been discussed by the School Board and the county Board of Supervisors.

The plan calls for three existing classrooms and one resource room to be renovated to create two large science laboratories and an associated preparation room.

At an earlier joint meeting with the School Board, supervisors were told that, with current science lab classes averaging 30 students each, lab experiments in the school had largely been reduced to demonstrations only, not student-conducted experiments.

New Virginia Standards of Learning in science will require students to actually do experiments themselves, school officials said.

The modular units will substitute for the existing classrooms while the modifications are in progress.

Once the renovations are complete, the modular units will continue to offer a short-term solution to overcrowding at the high school. Projections show that the current high school building will be at its full capacity of 1,531 students for the 2013-14 school year, and will exceed that capacity in following years.

The School Board also voted to authorize the administration to invite proposals for an architectural consultant to develop a master plan for possible renovations to the school, the surrounding campus and its associated facilities.

Dan McFarland:
Email: dmcfarland@freelancestar.com