RCPS moves forward with plan to keep Linville-Edom Elementary open

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 5:42 PM EDT|Updated: May. 23, 2023 at 6:33 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - On Monday night the Rockingham County School Board approved an easement for the installation of a new sewer discharge system at Linville-Edom Elementary School. The new system will keep the school open for the foreseeable future.

After years of searching for a way to replace the school’s outdated sewer system the school division will construct a clean water discharge system that will discharge treated wastewater to a nearby stream.

“We’ve been doing pump and haul for three years now to remove the wastewater at Linville-Edom Elementary School and over that course of time there were a number of different design options for a long term solution. Some involved discharging into a field and none of those were viable after studies were done so what we then settled on is a clean water discharge system,” said Rockingham County Superintendent Dr. Oskar Scheikl.

The easement will allow the school division to install discharge pipes for the system once its design is complete, the plan already has approval from the Virginia Department of Health.

“The discharge into the creek will be cleaner than what the current water in the creek is so it really is not making the Linville creek any dirtier or anything like that, it is actually considered clean water,” said Scheikl. “It’s an environmentally friendly solution, we have discharge systems at a few other schools but this is the most modern approach to it when you don’t have any other options because there is no sewer line there.”

The water discharge system does require the purchase of nitrate credits from the state which are designed to offset the ecological footprint of using a stream for the waste runoff by funding habitat creations and will eventually have to be renewed.

“That’s not always a guarantee however we don’t anticipate that that’s going to be a problem in the future. With Linville-Edom what you’re looking at is maybe a decade out or it could be even longer, when it comes time to renovate the school that’s when that conversation again will need to happen,” said Scheikl.

Scheikl said that it is exciting to have a plan for the school’s future solidified and that it is a result of years of collaboration and planning between the school division and the community who fought to keep it open.

“You still see the keep LEES open signs in the community and that’s how it should be, a community advocating and then sitting down at the table and respectfully discussing options. So here we are that’s now a finalized process and we can keep Linville Edom open,” he said.

The school division hopes to put the project out to bid by August and have the clean water discharge system built sometime during next year’s school year.