King George School Board Approves Moving Six of Nine Preschool Classes out of Troubled Building Next Fall

But this is a temporary fix. Members must decide what kind of construction project will best serve the county long-term.

Six King George County preschool classes will move from the rapidly deteriorating building on St. Anthony’s Road where they are now housed to King George Elementary in the fall.

That will leave three classes, comprised of students enrolled in the Head Start and the Virginia Preschool Initiative programs, in the c. 1939 building until a new home is built for them, which division superintendent Jesse Boyd acknowledged at last week’s School Board meeting will be several years.

The School Board approved Boyd’s plan for moving the six preschool classes to King George Elementary at its April 24 meeting.

“I can’t stress enough that this is a short-term plan,” Boyd said. “It does take King George Elementary—the one school that was under capacity—to capacity.”

That means all five county schools are either at or over maximum capacity.

At a joint meeting last month, the consensus of the county’s Board of Supervisors was that the School Board should seek funding for a new facility through a ballot referendum this fall.

Boyd told School Board members that he and division staff will be working with Moseley Architects—which conducted two feasibility studies on a new preschool building late last year—to come up with a cost estimate and timeline for the project by August, so that the referendum can go on the ballot in November.

Boyd said the division is looking at two options—constructing a combined fourth elementary school and unified preschool building or constructing a fourth elementary school and dividing the preschool programs among the four elementary schools.

He said there are pros and cons to both options that the Board should carefully weigh.

But Board member Colleen Davis asked Boyd at the meeting what happened to the idea of building both a fourth elementary school and a unified preschool, as was discussed in one of the feasibility studies.

“I think this is what we need—this preschool by itself and the elementary school, so we can have room to grow,” Davis said. “What [supervisors] did express [at the joint meeting] is that we need to be looking long-term. My opinion is that sticking the preschool and another school together is another temporary fix.”

Boyd said that this would be “undoubtedly” a more expensive option than housing the preschool and a fourth elementary school together.

“Yes, but we’re going to do a referendum,” Davis responded. “If we educate the people that this is what we need …”

School Board Chair David Bush thanked Davis for making these points and asked Boyd to return with information about cost and timing for all three options.

Managing Editor and Correspondent