Isle of Wight County Schools receives community input on Capital Improvements Plan

Published 12:10 pm Friday, October 14, 2022

Isle of Wight County Schools has received input from the community, largely through an online survey, on what people would like to see in the school division’s Capital Improvements Plan.

The first of two community input meetings was held Wednesday, Oct. 5, at Windsor High School. Only one member of the public attended, but IWCS Director of Secondary Education Dr. Marsha Cale confirmed that she had received 87 responses to the school system’s online survey as of 4:30 p.m. that afternoon.

An executive summary from IWCS noted that the CIP serves as a planning tool for the Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors and provides a mechanism for the planning and financing of major non-recurring capital infrastructure needs. The CIP is developed annually to plan for proposed public improvements to be constructed and major equipment to be purchased during the next 10 years.

IWCS Assistant Superintendent for Administration, Finance and Operations Dr. Christopher Coleman gave a brief presentation at the Oct. 5 community input meeting, explaining the criteria that a valid CIP item must meet.

He noted that the projects will span fiscal years 2023-32; they must be only major, non-recurring capital infrastructure needs, like building construction or renovations, etc.; they must exceed an anticipated $50,000 in expenditures; and they must have an anticipated service life of five or more years.

On posters placed on the walls around the cafeteria where the meeting was held, Cale wrote down the suggestions stemming from the online survey responses that met the criteria for CIP items.

For middle and high school buildings, suggested CIP items included addressing the Windsor High School auditorium and rebuilding/renovating Smithfield High School.

For elementary school facilities, it was suggested that the CIP address HVAC at Carrollton Elementary School and the Windsor Elementary School bus entrance.

Under the category of athletic/extracurricular projects, members of the public listed Windsor High School track, Windsor High School tennis courts, Georgie Tyler Middle School track/field and baseball fields in connection with all of the schools in the division.

For division facilities, public input was as follows: expand school size, outdoor classrooms and security upgrades.

In the category of “other,” air conditioning on buses was listed.

David Adams, who attended the meeting in person, asked about the A/C item, and Coleman elaborated by noting it was not all the buses, but some of the older models were without A/C.

Existing priorities on the CIP include rebuilding Hardy Elementary School; replacing Smithfield High School’s track and football, field hockey and soccer field; building security vestibules for each school; rebuilding Westside Elementary School; renovating Smithfield High School’s band/choral room; the IWCS Bus Fleet Garage; and renovating or building a new IWCS Administration Building.

Referencing the lack of in-person attendance at the Oct. 5 meeting, Coleman said, “A lot of individuals that couldn’t get here throughout the week, they have been emailing in on the app that’s there.”

“We still feel that there was an adequate input from the Windsor side as we go over to the Smithfield side,” he said. “And of course, it’s all preliminary information, so once we take it to the school board, we’ll decide from there where to go.”

The second community input meeting was set to be held Tuesday, Oct. 11, from 6-7 p.m. at Smithfield High School.