HCES-JGES Consolidation Update

HCES-JGES Consolidation Update
Posted on 05/22/2021
John M. Gandy LogoHanover County Public Schools announced on May 21, 2021, that Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates, a Charlottesville-based architectural firm, will lead the design of a new elementary school — a consolidation of Henry Clay and John M. Gandy elementary schools — that is set to open for the 2024-25 school year.

Additionally, HCPS and Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates will hold a series of input sessions for students, faculty and staff, and the broader community to provide feedback on the design of the consolidated Henry Clay and John M. Gandy elementary schools.

The new school building, located on the current John M. Gandy site in Ashland, will be the first new school constructed in Hanover County since Laurel Meadow Elementary School opened in 2008.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to build a new, student-centered facility that will unite two schools while honoring the storied histories of both and embracing the bright future that it will create for generations to come,” said Dr. Michael Gill, Superintendent of Schools. “The new school will be one the entire community can be proud of. We will involve our students, families, staff, and the broader community throughout this process as we chart the school’s promising path forward together.”

Henry Clay Elementary (HCES) currently serves students in pre-K through second grade, with students then attending John M. Gandy Elementary (JGES) for third through fifth grades. The two schools have a longstanding partnership and are bonded together through a “house” system that instills important character traits such as innovation, empathy, and respect in students.

Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates will oversee the design of the building where the two schools will become one. The firm, which has multiple offices in Charlottesville and the states of West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, focuses on providing student-centered design and understanding the needs of the modern learner. The firm has provided design services for 52 elementary school projects in the past 10 years.

The selection of Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates is the latest development in the consolidation.

In February 2018, as part of its annual budget process, the Hanover County School Board approved its Capital Improvement Plan, which included funding for the replacement of a to-be-determined elementary school. At a School Board work session in May 2018, board members learned through the results of a study requested by the board that Henry Clay Elementary is one of three schools in the county that is in need of replacing.

After touring the three schools identified in the independent study in September 2018, the School Board announced its desire to consolidate HCES and JGES as a first step in the long-term capital planning process. In November of that year, the School Board held a community information session on the consolidation.

With an architect selected, the community will have multiple opportunities to weigh in on the design of the school. Students, faculty, and staff will be able to share input during the school day the week of June 7.

Input sessions for the broader Ashland and Hanover County community will be held Tuesday, June 8 at 7 p.m., Thursday, June 10 at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., Tuesday, June 15 at 12 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Thursday, June 17 at 7 p.m.

All of the community meetings will be held virtually. All that is needed to participate is a computer or mobile device. More information on the meetings will be shared in the near future.
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