Richmond School Board To Discuss Safety Of Norrell Elementary - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

Richmond School Board To Discuss Safety Of Old Norrell Elementary

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RICHMOND, VA—Concerns continue to erupt surrounding safety at Richmond's former Norrell Elementary School, and now parents and concerned citizens are getting the chance to voice their concerns at a Richmond City Public Schools school board meeting Tuesday night.

Currently, about 250 three and four-year-old students are temporally using the building as a preschool center until a permanent site is completed at Martin Luther King Middle School.

The school was built on top of an only landfill in the early 60s, and was closed six years ago due to environmental concerns.

But after multiple tests at the site showed the building was safe, members of the Richmond City Public Schools school board reopened the building as the temporary site for a preschool center.

When asked if students should be allowed to attend school at the site, Richmond City Public Schools School Board Chairman Jeffrey Bourne said "Well, I think that's a question we're going to have to wrestle with."

This year's new school board has chosen to reexamine the building's safety, after the previous school board voted to reopen the site.

"We've asked the superintendent and administration to present us with options other than Norrell Elementary," Richmond City Public Schools school board Chairman Jeffrey Bourne said.

The former Norrell Elementary School building opened as a preschool center in September 2012.

The decision to reopen the building came amid some parent's concerns that the school's location was a health hazard.

In September, when the building reopened, the group Parents for Life raised concerns, saying the building should remain closed because of concerns over mold, carbon dioxide and methane gas.

About two dozen people held a flashlight vigil Monday night, in protest of the building's use.

"To put our babies in this school is unconscionable, and it brings me to tears," said Roxie Allison.

The Richmond City Public Schools school board meeting is open to the public and will be held at City Hall at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Stay with 8News for updates.


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