RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) – More than 60 percent of Virginia public school buildings are at least 40 years old, according to Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s office. Of the 1,227 schools in Virginia that old, 135 of them are in the Richmond area.
The Governor’s Office commissioned a study into how old public school buildings are across the Commonwealth.
According to the Governor’s office, the study is aimed at showing the benefit Virginia would receive if a change was made in the Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit.
Currently, renovation projects on historic buildings that are more than 50 years old can apply for funding to help with construction costs. However, public schools cannot receive the funding because of what some call a “loophole” in tax code.
“This is just a glitch in the law,” longtime educational reform advocate Paul Goldman said. “We’re not asking you to change anything but eliminate the glitch.”
To change the code it would take Congressional advocate. Virginia politicians on both sides of the aisle have publicly expressed their support of the change.
The 135 schools near Richmond that are 40 years or older breakdown as follows:
Henrico County – 46 schools
City of Richmond – 44 schools
Chesterfield County – 31 schools
Hanover County – 14 schools
Ten of the 30 oldest school buildings in the state are in the city of Richmond. The three oldest schools in the area are Fox Elementary, Swansboro Elementary and Open High School, all built in 1911. All three are in the city of Richmond.