Lynchburg City Council Hears Plans for New Heritage HS

Lynchburg, VA - Tuesday night, Lynchburg City School officials made their pitch to City Council for funding for a brand new Heritage High School.

At times, it seemed like a hard sell, but in the end, council was pretty positive in their feedback.

There's no denying that a new Heritage is a must. How much that new school will cost is still up for debate.

Council heard a presentation from school administrators and architects Tuesday night, detailing what the plans of a new Heritage will call for.

It was months ago that council had last heard what the school might look like.

Tuesday, the final plans, agreed upon by the school board were shown. They include more than 250,000 square feet of learning space, brand new athletic fields, an entirely new building facing Timberlake Road, and a $3.4 million indoor track.

That track, was an issue of contention among school board members was ultimately signed off on. City Councilman Turner Perrow sat on the Heritage design committee and said he agreed on a school that wouldn't have a track; he said he felt like he was the victim of quote "a bait and switch."

At the end of the night though, council was convinced by administrators that this plan, including that track, was the best option for a school that so desperately needs replacing.

"We actually own the buildings and so we can control what happens in those buildings. But it seems to me that everyone on council wants to give the school board some pretty broad latitude to use their best judgment" said Lynchburg Mayor Mike Gillette.

For now, price tag estimates are totaling more than $80 million. An exact total will come in the next phase of the project.

Administrators are hoping ground will be broken on the new school sometime in 2014.