RICHMOND, (WRIC) – The reconstruction of William Fox Elementary School in Richmond is continuing right on schedule after the devastating fire that destroyed the school in February 2022. 

The city notified Richmond Public Schools (RPS) today that the building passed the special inspections and final inspection – allowing the school to move on to the next phase of construction.

Specialized inspections are more than a basic walkthrough – before signing off, the city wanted to make sure the building was safe, the permanent roof is in the best possible condition and all other openings are closed. 

“It’s the safest it’s ever been since the fire,” said Dana Fox, the Chief Operating Officer of Richmond Public Schools. “We haven’t hit any snags or anything that would cause a delay, and so we are right on target for where we need to be.” 

The roof is now complete, and if you drive by, you can see the blue underlayment that serves as a weather shield.

“When they go to install the shingles, they will take up that underlayment, put a fresh one down, and then install the shingles,” said Fox. “Then the cupola will also be installed.” 

The Virginia Department of Historic Resources also recently approved renderings of the entryway, gymnatorium and the updated library.

The next phase of construction will be renovating the interior. Last Thursday, RPS opened the bidding for the chance to construct the school’s interior — the bidding will close Nov. 7th.

“We’ve already had some traction on that in the last few days for contractors reaching out and asking questions. So we are really excited that we are making some moves there,” said Fox. 

Fox told 8 News she hopes to have a contractor nailed down by the end of next month or early December.  

“We’re taking steps further and we’re going to be even in a better place in a few months. And then in a couple of years, it’s going to be fantastic. And I’m just so excited to see it and be a part of it.”

RPS plans to be ready to welcome students back into the school in the Fall of 2025.