School board moves ahead with approach that could save money and time on new high school construction

The Harrisonburg City School Board unanimously passed a resolution in a special meeting Monday morning to consider an unsolicited proposal from Nielsen Builders, Inc., to oversee both the design and construction of the new high school. This proposal, if accepted, could lower the cost and speed up the school’s completion.

After city council elections, school board setting groundwork for new high school to open one year earlier than previously decided

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.

Bluestone Elementary’s learning-friendly design racking up awards

Amelia, a first-grader, navigates the lunchroom of Bluestone Elementary School. Through its floor-to-ceiling windows, the snow-covered valley is visible beyond the playground featuring local rocks for climbing and garden beds watered by cisterns. Inside, in the school lobby, a grand piano sits within listening distance of the open-walled cafeteria, gym, and classrooms. Natural sunlight filters into the building through solar tubes, while exposed geothermal pipes provide impromptu learning opportunities for Amelia and her peers.