Halifax Co. looking to renovate schools, improve resources & that could impact your money

Halifax.jpg (WSET)

HALIFAX Co., Va. (WSET) -- Together Halifax County school board members and the board of supervisors looked at issues and opportunities facing the county and how to move forward; one of the major issues is how to upgrade schools.

The county administrator said some of the elementary schools were built in the 60's and need significant renovations or a complete rebuild and added that the high school, which was built in the 70's, doesn't meet modern needs either.

They estimated renovating the high school could cost between $10 million - $40 million.

Other projects discussed were the E911 system, that needs to be converted to a digital system, and the increased costs of services.

"When you look at what we provide here in Halifax and what our neighbors are providing, their tax rates are higher than ours," said James Halasz, the Halifax County administrator. "We may have to increase taxes to provide that level of service that we just need today in our changed society."

Halasz said increasing property tax is a possibility, but how much depends on the extent of the renovations and what projects they decide to do.

For example, the county's current real estate rate is 48 cents per $1,000. If the county would only upgrade the E911 system, it would add 1.7 cents. Adding the E911 system and a $40 million renovation to the high school would increase the rate by 5.3 cents.

He also said right now these are just ideas and estimates, but it's a conversation they want to have between both boards at least once a year.

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