School Leaders Talk about New Plans for Middle School

By: Garrett Wymer Email
By: Garrett Wymer Email

AUGUSTA COUNTY (WHSV) The Augusta County School Board and superintendent are trying to decide what to do with schools in the Riverheads school district.

The Riverheads district doesn't have a middle school, but the district includes all the schools that feed into Riverheads High School.

"With the growth in the area, we need to act instead of react," said Dana Sensabaugh, on the Augusta County.

The students are bussed to Beverly Manor Middle School, which is more than an hour bus ride for some kids.

"Transportation is expensive. Also, the instructional day is shorter than our other middle schools because of the busing schedule. We have to get our buses back to pick up high school and elementary school," said Sensabaugh.

A new plan could fix that.

According to Superintendent Dr Chuck Bishop. The plan would either renovate Riverheads Elementary School, or build a new one. It would also look into building a middle school wing at Buffalo Gap and Riverheads high schools.

If that's done, Beverly Manor Middle School would close and the elementary school would move to the middle school building, which is newer.

"Riverheads is a pod school. That means it's made up of these covered walkways that connect the different buildings," said Sensabaugh.

Sensabaugh said it has its problems.

"The electrical problems, the computer problems. Any pod school there's security problems. The school needs renovated, or we need a new school. Depending on how the cost comes in," said Sensabaugh.

Sensabaugh said having middle school wings where the kids go to high school would also build a stronger community in the county.

"It's very difficult for students to go to the middle school for three years and make friends and be split up. Half of them go to Buffalo Gap and the other half go to Riverheads High School. It's hard on students. That's a wonderful age to make friends and to keep those friends for a lifetime," said Sensabaugh.

Dr. Bishop said it would likely be the beginning of 2014 before construction begins.


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