RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A three-alarm fire left Fox Elementary School in Richmond completely unusable. The school building was one of the 10 Richmond schools that is over 100 years old.
Richmond parents are saying the destruction of this building is a wake up call for the state. If this can happen to this historic school building, what about Virginia’s other 33 century-old schools?
“This needs to be a wake up call, the clock does run out. They won’t always just be there. They won’t just be there when you get around to fixing it,” Fox Elementary School parent Becca Duval said.
Her husband Daniel Duval said that he’s sure Fox is among many Richmond schools with deferred maintenance projects.
Nearby Richmond resident Gina Wurfel had similar concerns explaining that districts can only do so much for their schools without proper support from the state.
Wurfel said education funding is designed to benefit suburbs more than it benefits independent cities. “So I think that until that changes, I think we’re always going to be short and kind of, like, chasing our tails,” she said.
Richmond’s other historic schools are:
- Binford Middle (1915)
- Open High (1911)
- Bellevue Elementary (1914)
- Swansboro Elementary (1911)
- Ginter Park Elementary (1915)
- George W. Carver Elementary (1915)
- Patrick Henry Elementary (1921)
- Barack Obama Elementary (1921)
- Summer Hill Preschool Center (1919)
But even some of Richmond’s school buildings that are newer in comparison have a need for repairs. The school district and City of Richmond continue to emphasize a need for a new George Wythe High School in Richmond’s Southside.