Concerned over student safety, RPS teacher implores school board to fund repairs

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Public Schools wants to spend $10 million on emergency repairs at several schools in the district. 

The RPS school board, who will meet tonight, hopes to figure out what the money will pay for. 

Superintendent Jason Kramas hopes to fix crumbling restrooms in RPS, but several schools in the district have other concerns. 

At Binford Middle, the main issue is not the bathrooms but the windows. 

It will cost roughly $1 million of the proposed $10 million to fix the school’s windows.

Richmond Public Schools wants to spend $10 million on emergency repairs at several schools in the district. 

8News spoke with a teacher at Binford Middle School who said no matter the price, student’s safety should be the concern. 

“It’s incredibly unsafe,” Juliane Codd Toce, a Binford Middle School teacher, said about the windows at the school. 

Concerns like these led RPS administration to ask the school board to move around $10 million in the budget to pay for emergency repairs.  

“The most dire. We literally had windows breaking and falling into the school building. That’s a giant safety concern,” said Toce. “Again, thankfully there were no children in the area.” 

One million of the $10 million would be dedicated to replacing the windows at Binford. 

“There are windows from 100 years ago and they are consistently leaking energy,” said Toce. “In my room alone, I shoved paper towels in the cracks in order to prevent the heat from escaping.” 

Binford Middle is not the only school with a list of repairs. 

Chimborazo Elementary needs a new roof as well as boilers. RPS notes that the school’s boilers have been leaking for decades. 

Other schools in the district are in need of new HVAC systems, heating and water pumps. 

Richmond Public Schools wants to spend $10 million on emergency repairs at several schools in the district. 

“But before we can make education a priority, we need to make the conditions in which these students are spending their entire day livable. It is not a livable situation,” Toce told 8News. 

If the $10 million gets approved by the school board, the Richmond City Council would also have to approve the spending and its purpose. 

The presentation of emergency repairs will be tonight at the school board meeting. 

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