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Why county regulations could prevent new Enon school on current site

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CHESTERFIELD, Va. – A discussion is underway as to the future of Enon Elementary.

Parents said the school, on Route 10, is aging and crumbling and a new building is long overdue.

The issue, they said, isn’t whether to build a new school, but rather, where will it be built.

School board chair Carrie Coyner, an Enon alum herself, said parents have made it clear they want to keep Enon on the hill.

“The struggle we have is with the new environmental laws in place now that weren't before. You need a lot more space to handle parking and environmental design," Coyner explained.

The county’s comprehensive plan requires a 30-acre parcel to build a new elementary school. The site where Enon sits now is just a little more than 11 acres.

Coyner said that means they’ll have to get creative.

Parents hope that the Board of Supervisors will consider making an exception to that 30-acre recommendation, and said there has even been discussion of purchasing land from a church next door to give the school site more acreage.

Some parents like April Booth are all for that. Booth said her mother attended Enon, she did too and now her kids are third generation Enon Gators.

To her, the school conditions are less than ideal.

“It’s very sad to see the school decrepit, it's breaking down. The repairs are patches at this point,” Booth said.

“The teachers are awesome and we love the staff, but the building is in disrepair," Booth added.

Parents like Tracey Estes encouraged parents to stay on top of the issue.

Right now school leaders are working through the site design phase. They’ll select a location in the coming weeks for a school set to open in 2020.

“My heart speaks to the newness of the school rather than placement,” Estes explained. “I mean, we would like to see it there and we know it'll attract more business and grow the community, but my focus is on a new school.”