HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — The location selected to build a second high school in the Friendly City was revealed on Monday afternoon.
Members of city council and the school board jointly announced a plan to purchase 60 acres of land just off of Interstate 81.
Just over six months ago, the city council voted 3-2 to address overcrowding at Harrisonburg High School by building a brand-new school, setting it to open in 2023.
"This is a time for us to be excited about the future of our children and the education the future generations will receive in this facility," said Mayor Deanna Reed.
The chair of public schools said about a dozen sites were reviewed between June and October 2017. The list was narrowed down to eight choices.
The city is now in the final stages of purchasing the plot of land, situated between South Main Street (Route 11) and Interstate 81. It's just behind Valley Lanes, Steven Toyota, and the Harrisonburg Auto Outlet.
“Discussions surrounding the next high school have taken place for some time,” explained Mayor Deanna Reed. “Although a few steps still need to take place, with closing on the property and obtaining financing, this is a significant and exciting milestone in this project.”
The land is owned by James Madison University as a former prospective property for the Union Bank & Trust Center, and the sale was made in partnership with the university and the Harrisonburg School Board.
Superintendent Dr. Scott Kizner said he was pleased with the location's close proximity to the current high school.
"We feel strongly that this provides an opportunity to transport children or have children possibly even have choices of which high school they would like to attend," said Kizner.
A public meeting will be held during the regularly scheduled council meeting on July 10. A July 24 meeting will feature a second reading of the supplemental appropriation.
If approved, the property could be closed by the end of the month.