Plans for new Highland Springs, Tucker high schools advance toward construction

The Board of Supervisors at its June 25 regular meeting approved plans to replace two of Henrico County’s oldest public high schools with modern facilities that will serve the community long term. Construction is expected to start this fall on the new Highland Springs and J.R. Tucker high schools.

The new Highland Springs is planned on a wooded property along East Beal Street, adjacent to the existing school, and will front South Airport Drive. The existing school building, which opened in 1952 and was renovated in 2008, will be retained and used for another purpose.

The new J.R. Tucker will be built on the school’s existing football field at its North Parham Road campus. Crews will eventually demolish the old school building, which opened in 1962.

County planners explained the schools will be modeled after Glen Allen High School, which opened in 2010 and is Henrico’s newest high school. By following Glen Allen’s design, each of the new projects is expected to advance more quickly, they said.

Highland Springs and J.R. Tucker will feature similar layouts and architecture. The two-story, 265,101-square-foot buildings will be accompanied by new field houses, concession stands and synthetic turf athletic fields. Each project is budgeted at $95 million.

Last September, the Board of Supervisors and School Board announced plans to invest in new schools rather than renovate the aging structures. The new schools will be funded primarily with proceeds of the voter-approved 2016 bond referendum and meals tax revenues.

County staff will work to ensure that construction doesn’t interfere with student learning, officials said.

Construction is expected to take two years, with both schools anticipated to open in time for the 2021-2022 school year.

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