ROANOKE COUNTY—The Roanoke County Board of Supervisors announced last Friday a proposal that will provide Roanoke County Public Schools $130 million to fund a new career and technical education center and make improvements to two elementary schools.
The county noted this is the largest amount of funding it has ever provided to the school division. It added the funding will enable the division to complete all three projects sooner than expected. The funding will be available starting in early 2024.
The division identified the critical needs for a new career and technical center in Roanoke County, as well as renovations to W.E. Cundiff Elementary School and Glen Cove Elementary School.
The county noted the current center has to turn away students each year due to capacity issues.
“Our business community has shared their desires for well-trained students to enter the workforce immediately,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Martha Hooker. “A new CTE facility will expand the programs offered, provide more opportunities for students and meet the needs of our business community. Ensuring our children’s success and sustaining our local economy is critical.”
W.E. Cundiff and Glen Cove Elementary Schools were also identified as schools in need of renovations to help facilitate learning. The supervisors agreed there are issues at these two schools and that improvements of the open-classroom spaces are needed.
The county said that the supervisors and county staff worked for months to find solutions within current and future funding streams that would also allow them to meet the capital needs across all county programs, and remain fiscally responsible with taxpayer dollars. In the last four months the supervisors provided two funding proposals to the Roanoke County School Board intended to meet the desired needs.
The new proposal will provide $80 million to be utilized for the new center and $50 million to be utilized for improvements to Glen Cove and W.E. Cundiff Elementary Schools. Planning has been underway for the three projects, including recommendations from renovation studies for the elementary schools and the purchase last year of 28-acres of land to build the new center.
“As a former educator, I understand the importance of providing an environment that encourages growth and learning, and provides the foundation for our future,” added Hooker. “I’m proud that we have been able to secure this record amount of funding for our school system. We’ve paved the way for them to advance their capital projects and ensure the educational needs of our students are met.”
The Roanoke County Board of Supervisors will approve the new funding proposal at a future board meeting.