RICHMAND, Virginia (WRIC) – The Richmond Public Schools School Board met Tuesday, Feb. 22, to discuss information about William Fox Elementary School in Fan District, where they approved $ 500,000 to prepare temporary accommodation for displaced students.
RPS Chief Jason Kamras spoke during the meeting about the current state of the building, current learning conditions for Fox students, recently received information about school insurance and plans to build the building for the future.
School District Foundation Executive Director Tai Topke said the school received more than $ 150,000 in donations and an additional $ 115,000 in corporate gifts. Kamras said the current plan is to use all available insurance money before going for donations and gifts.
According to Komras, the insurance covers the cost of replacing the building, not just its current cost. The news came after a meeting of Richmond Public Schools (RPS) last week, which reported that the school and its contents were insured for up to $ 17 million. It is now expected that the real cost of replacing the building will be much higher.
Catherine Jordan, a member of Richmond City Council from the Second District, said they are still awaiting an assessment of the building’s structural integrity, adding that it is too early to say whether the school will be rebuilt from scratch or the building will. will be restored with the integration of parts of the current structure. In any case, Jordan has confirmed that Fox Elementary School will always be where it is now.
Kamras agreed with Jordan, confirming that “The chances that he will be restored at 23:00 in Hanover are 100%.”
While most Fox Elementary students are currently involved in some sort of virtual learning, Kamras isn’t sure how long this plan will last. He said Clark Springs is a leading, viable option for relocating children and resuming full personal learning.
“We want to keep it [virtual] the period is as short as possible, and to take the children to the space prepared for them, “said Kamras.” We have no plans to extend the school year. “
There are currently several “facilitated learning centers” available to children as a personal learning option, including the Northside YMCA, the Humphrey Calder Community Center, and Richmond’s First Baptist Church.
In connection with an ongoing investigation into the fire by the school insurance company and the Richmond Fire Department, Kamras said securing the roof of the building so as not to increase the damage is not an option. Damage continues from the roof throughout the building in the form of asbestos and structures.
“We are following the instructions of the fire service to gain access to the building,” Kamras said. “We want to make sure everyone is safe first and foremost.”
So far, the fire department has allowed Principal Jacobs to walk into the office to collect school records.
Comras added that Fox’s recovery will not affect George White’s schedule, noting: “So far we have the necessary staffing to manage both projects simultaneously.”
The school board unanimously voted in favor of approving the permit proposal, “up to $ 500,000 to be spent on renovations to accommodate a temporary place for fox students and teachers, depending on the head’s recommendation of overwhelming space, but continuing to consult with the council.”
Additional reportg from 8News reporter Sabrina Shaters included.