RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond City Council voted unanimously to transfer $7.3 million for the city’s school division to begin design plans for a new George Wythe High School.
Monday’s vote to approve the budget transfer came after the council opted to withhold funding from the district for months.
The City Council and Richmond School Board were at odds over the design and construction of the new George Wythe, with the capacity level being the main sticking point.
“My school board member and I have not always worked together, and recently she and I are on the same page,” City Council member Reva Trammell said during the Monday night council meeting. “With George Wythe, I have to commend the school board members, because they basically held out until there was a compromise.”
The school board narrowly backed an ordinance to build a school for 1,800 students earlier this month, setting up a path for the rebuilding of a new George Wythe. Despite the impasse, both sides have agreed that a new school is needed as the current school building in the city’s South Side opened in 1960.
“We are growing. We are growing. That school needs to be built now,” Trammell continued. “This is a win for those students.”
Mayor Levar Stoney said when he introduced the funding ordinance that it would make way for a new school for 1,800 students, a figure between the 2,000-seat school that the city initially backed and the 1,600-seat school that the school board supported.
In 2021, the board cited cost concerns when voting to take control over school construction from Stoney’s administration.
But the council has authority over funding and has voted against transferring the needed funds for designing the new school for months due to the different views on a capacity level.
The vote moves funds from the school planning and construction project in the education category for “the planning and design of a new George Wythe High School.”
This story is developing. Check back for updates.