Campbell County Schools Consider Consolidation

Campbell Co., VA - Campbell County Schools may be on the verge of taking steps to consolidate.

A recommendation from a new study, 1.5 years in the making, suggests going from four high schools to two high school-middle school combined buildings.

This study was done by an outside firm. The district says the company engaged 400 Campbell County community members and got their opinion before making the recommendation.

The thought of closing more schools is not sitting well with some parents, however.

"They should leave things like they are because to me, you're going to try to crowd a lot of people into two schools and why fix something that's not broke?" asked Campbell County resident Joyce Barbour.

"I would be really sad if it closed," said Campbell County resident Bertha Hodnett.

Hodnett's son attends William Campbell Combined. She says the news is causing some serious concerns.

"Some of them are going to have to be bused from way out in the county to another location," said Hodnett.

Superintendent Doctor Robert Johnson says it is just a recommendation, one to help guide the district over the next 30 years to create a long range capital improvement plan.

Right now, Dr. Johnson says some secondary schools are not being used to their full potential.

"About 200,000 square feet of space that we don't need," said Johnson.

Johnson says William Campbell Combined is way below capacity with a little more than 500 students, yet, Brookville High School is at capacity with more than 1,000 students. He says, it does not make sense to keep them all open.

"Over $100 million dollars worth over a 20 year period that we're going to have to spend just to keep our buildings in the state that they are in now," said Johnson.

Johnson says new buildings would also enhance learning.

"Better meet the educational needs of the kids then and going forward," said Johnson.

Dr. Robert Johnson reiterates, if passed, this is a project nearly 30 years in the future.

The school board hopes to vote on the recommendation by the end of March and then it will head to the Board of Supervisors.