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Newly Rebuilt Chesterfield County School Set To Open Earlier Than Expected

Crestwood Elementary-screen shot
Crestwood Elementary School is set to open its doors in two weeks and will be able to handle over 700 students. However, more than half of its students will still be learning virtually. The district broadcast the ribbon cutting on its Facebook Live page. (Photo--screen shot of video from the Chesterfield County school's Facebook page)

The ribbon was cut Monday on a newly rebuilt school in Chesterfield County. Crestwood Elementary is set to open its doors April 13.

Speaking in front of school and county officials, Superintendent Merv Daugherty says since construction was completed ahead of schedule, it was important to get students into the new building.

“When you think about the excitement and what we’ve been through over the past year, this is a shot in the arm,” Daugherty said.

During construction, Crestwood students were housed in mega-trailers on the grounds of nearby Bon Air Elementary. At last month’s Board of Supervisors meeting, the board approved the school district to buy those  leased trailers and distribute them to three other schools that are overcrowded or have older trailers that need replacement. Falling Creek Middle School will get three of the five trailers, while J.A. Chalkley and J.G. Henning will get one each. 

The newly rebuilt, 96,000 square foot Crestwood can handle 750 students. However, according to district documents and a report VPM did in January, just over 200 students or roughly 36% are participating with face-to-face instruction at the school.

Crestwood Elementary, which first opened in 1962, was one of several schools in the district that were rebuilt using funds from the 2013 bond referendum. Ettrick and Reams Road Elementary schools are the last remaining two and are set to open this fall. So far, each school has opened on time and under budget.

School and county officials are in the process of devising a new bond referendum to rebuild several middle schools. However, a vote on that proposal isn’t slated for an election until 2022.

 

Ian M. Stewart is the transportation reporter and fill-in anchor for VPM News.