Rebuild or renovate: Halifax County officials need to decide fate of high school

Halifax County High School (WSET)

HALIFAX Co., Va. (WSET) -- Many in Halifax County want to see something done to improve the high school there.

The big question of building an entirely new high school or renovation is still on the table. But now some results are in from the Halifax County Public Schools facility study.

There is a more than 30 page pamphlet filled with recommendations from architects on what to do.

"It's a disheartening feeling when it's a question, when we're talking about our kids education," Dominic Stephens, a parent, said.

" You get infrastructure issues. your air condition units, your ventilation all those things deteriorate over time," Halifax High School principal Michael Lewis said.

The Halifax County School Board hired Mosley Architects to do a study on the school to find out how much it would cost to build new or renovate.

"A partial renovation and a partial rebuild is about 88 million dollars," Halifax Superintendent Mark Lineburg said. "The new school would be at 100 million dollars."

Mark Lewis thinks a new building is the smartest move.

"Why remodel a building for 80 million when you can build a new one for 95 million," he said.

Stephens went to Halifax High School and has children attending the school now.

"I want my child to have the best," he said.

He agrees that building new is the best option, and says renovations won't fix any underlying issues.

"I wouldn't want my daughter to deal with those ruminates to deal with the bacteria and issues that go along with being in the building," Stephens said.

He says a new building would allow for better safety features and will attract more people to the community.

"With all the school shootings we need to have a more secure building."

The school board plans to make a recommendation in the fall and it will then go to the board of supervisors.

"If you renovate we would have mobile units we can use," Lineburg said. "If you rebuild we rebuild right beside the high school."

The county is looking at using sales tax dollars as well as increasing real-estate taxes to pay for the work.

"It's worth it for the future generations we have," Stephens said.

Lineburg says every year they wait to make a decision to build new or renovate, the cost goes up by 6 percent.

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