Henrico to build two new high schools in the county

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Highland Springs High School, in Henrico's East End, and Tucker High School, in Henrico's West End, will be replaced with brand new school buildings, Henrico County officials announced Thursday. Construction on the new schools is scheduled to begin in 2019 and the county hoped both would be open to students in 2021.

"Henrico’s high quality of life depends on having schools that are great — from the quality of instruction and programming to the design and physical condition of the buildings," Henrico County Manager John A. Vithoulkas said. "It’s time to bring a modern facility to the Tucker and Highland Springs communities."

Plans called for Tucker to be built on the school's existing campus on Parham Road near Interstate 64.

Highland Springs, however, would move -- but not far.

"The new Highland Springs is planned on a wooded property along East Beal Street, adjacent to the existing school, and will front South Airport Drive," a county spokesperson said. "The existing school building, which opened in 1952 and was renovated in 2008, will be retained."

The county expected the schools to cost $80 million each to build.

That money would come from a 2016 bond referendum, the county meals tax, and Virginia Public School Authority bonds.

"There’s tremendous excitement to go around for everybody," new Henrico County Public Schools Superintendent Amy Cashwell said. "To think about what our goals are as a school system, which include preparing students to be life ready, and to then design learning programs around those goals, is a wonderful opportunity. This will take our classrooms to the next level, and it brings great value to see new learning centers serve as the centerpieces of their communities."

The county planned to spend the next few months finalizing the new schools' design and figuring out how to accommodate students during construction.

"It’s a bold move to build two high schools simultaneously — something Henrico hasn’t done in more than 60 years," Vithoulkas said. "We have the resources and the need to transform two of our oldest high schools as well as the communities around them. It’s an opportunity we heartily embrace."