RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond Public School board approved a rezoning plan for River City Middle School. The approval comes one week after the board struck down a previous proposal.
Board member Nicole Jones said parents are calling her, afraid to send their children to school because of how overcrowded it is at River City Middle.
The school reportedly holds about 1,500 people, but was constructed to hold 1,300. A board member calls the overflowing capacity a safety issue.
“I’ve been at River City and I can see and feel it. No matter how beautiful it is. It’s too close. It’s too packed. This is the year 2022. This is not a destitute island, a third-world country. How dare we treat our children that way,” said school board member Cheryl Burke.
A vote last night passed 8-1 in favor of the final rezoning recommendation, with board member Jonathan Young being the only member to vote against the plan.
Students will be moved around between four middle schools, Binford, Boushall, Lucille Brown and River City. The move will bring capacity at each of the four schools to under 80%.
The plan also includes more than $120,000 in improvements to Binford Middle, which board member Stephanie Rizzi said has to happen before students are moved.
“You need to know that I’m not going to send our babies from River City over to Binford for them to have to sit in a hallway or to accommodate, sit in a classroom that’s not modified to accommodate them,” she said at last night’s board meeting.
A timeline for when the rezoning plan will be fully implemented hasn’t been released yet.