A Avenue corridor eyed as potential elementary school site

By: Michael Campbell | Twitter: @itsthesoup
Posted: October 9, 2019 | 10:46 p.m.

PRINCE GEORGE – Several months after leaders of the school board confirmed they had reached a consensus on a potential location for a new elementary school with county supervisors, that location was finally revealed to the public during Tuesday’s meeting of the Prince George Board of Supervisors as being near the A Avenue gate of the Fort Lee military installation.

During Tuesday evening’s meeting, Prince George Board of Supervisors Chairman Donald Hunter read a prepared statement where he confirmed the county had been in talks with representatives from Fort Lee regarding “the possibility of the Department of the Army donating property for the purpose of a new elementary school,” specifically property that sits on both sides of the A Avenue roundabout at the intersection of Route 630 and Route 634.

Specifics of the proposed transaction between Fort Lee and the county were not revealed in the prepared statement, such as the site’s exact location or the total acreage of the site in question as the processes surrounding the proposal, which would involve the Federal government remain ongoing. Hunter did say, “the transaction appears for final approvals to possibly be made in the latter part of calendar year 2020.”

RELATED: Timeline of discussions regarding plans for new county schools

“This location appears to have the needed infrastructure to serve a new elementary school. Its location would strengthen an already solid partnership between Prince George County and Fort Lee,” he remarked. “The Board of Supervisors looks forward to moving ahead with this project and providing a safe and modern facility for young people to learn and teachers to teach in an effective manner.”

In June, Prince George School Board Chairman Robert Cox, Jr. told The Prince George Journal he and his board has “had good conversations” with supervisors chairman Hunter and vice-chairman Floyd Brown, Jr., adding they had received a proposal for a piece of property from the county and, after discussions, the school board agreed with the location. When asked at the time, Cox said he was unable to disclose the location but, he did say “it is a different location” than sites that had been proposed during the course of the project’s development and discussion since 2017: a property along Route 156 known as the Yancey property, Middle Road near the Interstate 295 overpass, and the current site of Walton Elementary School along Courthouse Road.

Tuesday, Hunter confirmed that the property alluded to by Cox in June was indeed the site near the A Avenue roundabout just outside of Fort Lee’s A Avenue gate, roughly 2.5 miles northeast of Walton’s current location.

Below is the full text of Chairman Hunter’s statement during Tuesday’s board of supervisors meeting.

“I want to take this opportunity to make a few comments on behalf of the Board of Supervisors regarding a proposal to build a new elementary school.

Everyone probably knows this issue has been before the Board of Supervisors and the School Board for a couple years now. There have been discussions regarding the location of a new school that both boards have had different points of view.

Earlier this year, representatives from Fort Lee discussed with our County Administrator about the possibility of the Department of the Army donating property for the purpose of a new elementary school. The property in question is located on both sides of the ‘A’ Avenue roundabout.

When this idea was first floated about, it was agreed for the Department of the Army to go back and do their due diligence and seek the necessary approvals. Later discussions with School Board representatives found this site to be worth pursuing as well.

As we approach the end of this calendar year, Fort Lee officials have said they are comfortable letting the public know this is something the Department of the Army is considering. The pace of the transaction appears for final approvals to possibly be made in the latter part of calendar year 2020.

This location appears to have the needed infrastructure to serve a new elementary school. Its location would strengthen an already solid partnership between Prince George County and Fort Lee.

The Board of Supervisors looks forward to moving ahead with this project and providing a safe and modern facility for young people to learn and teachers to teach in an effective manner.”

A full report on this development in efforts to construct a new elementary school in Prince George, including an interview with Chairman Donald Hunter, will be in the next edition of The Prince George Journal newspaper and online next week.

Copyright 2019 by Womack Publishing
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