Superintendent recommends combining Thompson and Elkhardt middle schools

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Last month, hundreds of students at Elkhardt Middle School were forced to move after a leaky steam pipe created toxic mold issues in two classrooms.

Students were moved to Clark Springs Elementary School to finish out the school year.

Since the move, nothing has been set in stone as to where students will permanently go.

However, on Tuesday, the Richmond School Board finally heard some different options from Tommy Kranz, who is in charge of facilities at Richmond Public Schools.

School Board Vice Chair Kristen Larson said one of the options would be to rebuild Elkhardt Middle School and renovate Thompson Middle School. However, Larson said that would cost RPS around $70 million.

As a more efficient plan, Dr. Dana Bedden and Kranz are recommended combining Elkhardt Middle and Thompson Middle into one larger school.

"That would be $60 million versus $70 million and that would also save us on operating costs," said Larson.

However, there are still questions with that plan.

It will take around 24 months to build so the students would have to move again to Thompson Middle School for two and a half years.

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