DATE: November 22, 2016
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
Third Woodbrook Community Meeting on Tuesday, November 29, Will Offer Latest on Project’s Design, Traffic Study
(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – The third in a series of community meetings to review and discuss plans for the expansion of Woodbrook Elementary School will take place on Tuesday evening, November 29, at the school. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.
Earlier this month, voters in Albemarle County approved a school bond referendum that authorizes Albemarle County to finance the $15.2 million Woodbrook project through the issuance of general obligation bonds. The county projects that use of these bonds will lower financing costs for taxpayers, compared to current financing methods.
The 40,000-square foot Woodbrook addition will include new classrooms to accommodate current and 10-year projected student enrollment growth at Woodbrook, Agnor-Hurt, and Greer elementary schools. It also will expand the current cafeteria, provide a full-size gymnasium, create more parking spaces, and improve the school’s onsite traffic flow.
The addition also would create space for up to three pre-K classrooms in the urban ring. Work would begin next summer and be completed in time for the opening of the 2018-19 school year.
At the November 29 meeting, Jack Clark from the project’s architect, RRMM, will provide an update on the design development phase of the project. A representative from EPR, the firm that recently completed a traffic study, will present their findings. That study concluded that the Woodbrook expansion “will have a minimal impact on the surrounding transportation network.” The study found that neither of the site’s two existing intersections will require improvements, adding that the increase in wait time for motorists at each intersection would be between two and three seconds.
At a meeting on September 6, the school division said that, as the result of input from community members at a February informational meeting, several changes were made to the original design plan for the addition. Among those changes:
- A reduction in the number of students who would transition to Woodbrook from Agnor-Hurt and Greer elementary schools (reduced from 300 to 200);
- The elimination of a second story in the original design plans; and
- A larger buffer zone between the school’s proposed new construction and nearby homes.
The Woodbrook project was recommended by the school division’s Long-Range Planning Advisory Committee, comprised of citizen volunteers from across Albemarle County. The project subsequently was reviewed and approved by the Albemarle County School Board and Board of Supervisors.
It is expected that an advisory committee will be created next fall to review and explore options for redistricting the Agnor-Hurt and Greer students to Woodbrook. Parents representing all three schools will be appointed to the committee.
Other school projects included in the bond referendum that was approved on November 8 include the modernization of classrooms across 25 schools; the upgrading of seven science labs and the creation of three new ones at Western Albemarle High School; and security improvements at four schools.