WINCHESTER, VA- The Winchester City Public School District is outgrowing many of its schools and is asking for the public's input in solving capacity issues.
"We know we're over capacity right now at the elementary level," says Kevin McKew, executive director of Winchester City Public Schools. "Our projections are that over the next five years we will remain over capacity at both the elementary and middle school level."
This year, Winchester elementary schools are nearly 300 students over capacity.
The school board says it is trying to address that issue and figure out a rebuilding plan for the aging John Kerr Elementary.
"Some of the options they're looking at could be building on site at the John Kerr property, building new and then demolishing this building," McKew says.
For 40 years, students have been attending to John Kerr Elementary School and the building has never been renovated. School officials say a new building is long overdue to meet growing technology needs and growing class sizes.
"Essentially, all of the building systems are beyond their useful life," says McKew. "Things like the roof, the HVAC, the heating and cooling systems, the electrical even things like the windows and the insulation of the building, They are not up to present-day standards."
School officials are also considering building a new school at a new location, which brings up the potential for redistricting.
"When we look at it right now in terms of serving the John Kerr Elementary School zone, this may be an issue that would touch on other zones in the city because of the potential we could move those boundaries between other school districts," McKew says.
The Winchester Schools held its first public meeting about the John Kerr construction at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Daniel Morgan Middle School.