Henrico County to replace two high schools by 2021


HENRICO (WRIC) – Henrico County and Schools officials announced Thursday a plan to re-build two high schools, simultaneously, by 2021.

Work on Highland Springs and J.R. Tucker High Schools will begin next fall. Each new school is expected to cost $80 million.

Funding for the schools’ construction plan is expected to come from several sources, including a $55 million bond passed in 2016. Click here for details.

“Public schools are the lifeblood of any community,” Henrico County Manager John A. Vithoulkas said.

“Henrico’s high quality of life depends on having schools that are great — from the quality of instruction and programming to the design and physical condition of the buildings. It’s time to bring a modern facility to the Tucker and Highland Springs communities.”

A new Highland Springs will be built on a tract of line adjacent to the existing school, which was originally opened in 1952. The existing school building, which was renovated in 2008, will be retained.

The New J.R. Tucker will replace in the same spot as the current one, originally built in 1962.

“There’s tremendous excitement to go around for everybody,” Henrico County Public Schools Superintendent Amy E. Cashwell said. “To think about what our goals are as a school system, which include preparing students to be life ready, and to then design learning programs around those goals, is a wonderful opportunity.

“This will take our classrooms to the next level, and it brings great value to see new learning centers serve as the centerpieces of their communities.”

8News spoke with Raji Kokara, a Highland Springs parent, about the announcement and money spent on the improvements.

“Money spent on education is money well-spent, that’s what I believe, actually,” Kokara said.

Kokara appreciates the investment being made for thousands of Henrico County students, including her son.

“You should not think about money when you’re spending it on education,” Kokara told 8News, “because without education, if you’re not really educated then I don’t think you’re nowhere.” 

Cashwell says the ages of the current school buildings limit learning potential. 

“This idea of creating learning spaces that meet the 21st Century learner, coupled with tremendously old facilities, call for new builds in both cases so we’re really excited to make that happened,” Cashwell told 8News. 

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