New options examined for consolidated school

Published 7:46 am Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Charlotte County School Board is examining new options for construction of a consolidated elementary school project.

According to Charlotte County Public School Superintendent Nancy Leonard, “at a previous [board of supervisors] meeting, I brought the request for funding for a consolidated school.

“At that time you all denied the request for that amount of funding and asked that we go forward — the school board and myself — and review some other options and come back with a more reasonably priced request.”

Leonard said during the past month, other options have been explored for moving forward with the project.

“We went to the Virginia School Board Association’s annual conference, and three school board members and myself signed up for anything possible to do with school construction and utilized all the resources that were there,” Leonard said.

She said one of the common themes that emerged was the Private/Public Education Act (PPEA). “It would allow private sector       expertise to come in and to be able to offer proposals which may be more innovative than the typical design bid build process.”

However, PPEA cannot be considered by a school board unless the county has adopted PPEA regulations, she said.

Based on guidelines from the Commonwealth of Virginia, in order for a infrastructure to fall under PPEA as a qualifying building there are specifics that must be adhered to.

However, a school is a qualifying facility and PPEA states: “An education facility, including, but not limited to, a school building, any functionally related and subordinate facility (a stadium, for example), land appurtenant to a school building, and any depreciable property provided for use in a school facility that is operated as part of the public school system or as an institution of higher education.”

Leonard said with the addition of three new board members, the school board would like to have the option of examining every possible option they have been able to find in order to move forward.

“Having the PPEA regulations in places is something that we can do to be able to make that option viable for the school board in January or in the future,” said Leonard.

Charlotte County Board of Supervisors Chairman Haywood Hamlett said he would like to table the issue until the first of the year due to new members coming on the Board of Supervisors and the School Board.