Louisa News

Portsia Smith covers Louisa County crime and news.

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Board votes to demolish school

The Louisa County School Board voted to appropriate funding to demolish Thomas Jefferson Elementary School.

The vote was unanimous Tuesday night to rebuild the school, which was damaged in the Aug. 23 earthquake. Engineering tests showed the school building is beyond repair.

According to school officials, the estimated cost to replace the school is $13.7 million. Insurance is expected to provide $9.4 million.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced last month that it will provide $3.2 million to help Louisa County replace Thomas Jefferson.

The new elementary school will have more than 85,000 square feet, with 41 classrooms, a cafeteria, a gym, and music, art and multimedia rooms. Also planned are sufficient administrative, storage, mechanical, lobby, common and personal service areas to support student capacity.

Damages from the quake caused Louisa school officials to make changes in where students would attend classes this academic year.

Students at Thomas Jefferson moved into mobile classrooms in September.

Damage to Louisa County High School forced students there to share space at Louisa Middle School for several months, and schedules were shifted. High-schoolers attended on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while middle-school classes were on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

That changed on Feb. 1, when the 1,500 high school students moved into modular units. That allowed all students to return to five-day schedules.

FEMA also awarded the county with $19 million to rebuild Louisa High, but there was no motion Tuesday to demolish that school.

The cost to rebuild it is estimated at $43 million, according to school officials.

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