The estimated cost of building the new high school has risen by $9.5 million, according to a presentation Grimm + Parker Architects made to the Harrisonburg City School Board on Monday evening.
As Harrisonburg Police Chief Eric English outlined his policing philosophies and answered questions from about 30 community members at his first town hall meeting Monday, he kept returning to a central theme.
What has been called the Thomas Harrison House for many years — and what the city of Harrisonburg planned to spend $1 million to restore and turn into a museum of the founder’s life — now remains in limbo as city staff decides where to go from here. But some residents see an opportunity for the still-historic, if not as old as first advertised, building to delve into more of the area’s background.
On Monday evening, Police Chief Eric English will introduce himself, take questions and talk about policing in Harrisonburg at a public meeting at Thomas Harrison Middle School.
“A lot of people still have not met me,” said English, who was sworn in as Harrisonburg’s police chief last September. “I’ll talk about my philosophy and some things that we’ve already implemented, [as well as] things I’m looking to do going forward.”
Although the school board had originally presented plans to open a new high school by 2021, city council voted almost a year ago to take a slower approach, opening in 2023.
But after Sal Romero and Chris Jones––Democrats whose campaigns supported earlier construction of the high school––won the city council race in November, the school board has begun behind-the-scenes work to make that possible.