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Louisa schools to buy 127 acres to expand career and technical education program

Posted on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at 5:00 am

The schools are buying 127 acres south and west of the middle and high schools to make room for a future career and technical education building and more school bus parking. The total cost to purchase the two properties is $500,000.

Louisa County Public Schools is buying 127 acres, primarily to make room for a future Career and Technical Education building.

The land, adjacent to the middle and high schools, is large enough to accommodate a stand-alone building for the career program, plus other needs as the schools grow along with the county population.

“As we’re able to add production and manufacturing programs, we would have an area to teach those skills,” Superintendent Doug Straley said. “This gives us the opportunity to build and expand as we need it.”

The Louisa County Board of Supervisors voted on May 20 to approve spending $394,000 on the land purchase, using money previously budgeted for education purposes. The schools will pay the balance of the $500,000 purchase price from other capital improvement funds.

The schools are buying 91 acres from Gilboa Christian Church Trustees and another 36 acres from LJR Discretionary Trust. The career building would be constructed on the Gilboa property, for which the schools agreed to pay $400,000.

The smaller parcel, located behind the bus garage, will provide breathing room in the coming years for school bus drivers and mechanics who currently squeeze into a 16-acre parcel. The schools formerly leased property for that purpose from the Virginia Department of Transportation on Davis Highway. They had to give up the extra space when the state agency re-opened the Louisa resident engineer’s office.

Straley said the 91-acre parcel could be used for other purposes besides the career building, though there are no such plans at this time.

Straley listed heating, ventilation and air conditioning; plumbing; and mechatronics, or mechanical, electrical and software systems, among the program areas that will have room to grow in the new building. Adult education classes could also be housed there.

(Article by David Holtzman)

This is a partial article. Read the full story in The Central Virginian’s May 23, 2019 issue.

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