Mayor Stoney hands over keys to three new schools in Richmond’s East End and Southside
After a tour of the new Cardinal Elementary School, Mayor Levar Stoney was joined by Superintendent Jason Kamras and members of the Richmond School Board and City Council to present keys to the principals of Cardinal Elementary, Henry Marsh Elementary and River City Middle.
The three new schools were funded using revenue from the 1.5 percent increase in the meals tax that the Stoney administration proposed to pay for badly needed school infrastructure improvement. That meals tax increased passed Richmond City Council with seven votes in 2018. The mayor thanked the Richmond community for eating at local restaurants, which ultimately paid for the new schools.
“This is a community investment,” said the mayor. “And it represents our shared belief that no matter their zip code, family income, race, religion, gender identity, ethnicity, first language or learning style, every single student in RPS deserves the same opportunity to learn in a healthy, safe environment.”
Once students return to school in person, the buildings will provide space for 3,250 students from Richmond’s East End and Southside to learn and grow. The total project cost for building all three new schools totals approximately $146 M.
All three buildings are LEED certified.
Classrooms with project-based learning areas, speech room, calm down room, dedicated art and music rooms, computer lab
Henry Marsh Elementary
Dedicated science classrooms, laboratory, 750-person auditorium with balcony, dance studio, technology and continued education rooms, video production room, gymnasium with space for two basketball courts
River City Middle
Classrooms with project-based learning areas, dedicated exceptional education classrooms, speech, day treatment and reflection rooms, dedicated art and music rooms, computer lab
The mayor thanked the members of Richmond City Council who supported the funding for schools, the Richmond School Board Members for their continued leadership, Superintendent Kamras and his administration for their tireless advocacy and partnership and the city administrative team.
The mayor also thanked AECOM, RRMM Architects, Branch Builds, SB Ballard and Howard Shockey and Son, among other contractors and subcontractors who, despite a global pandemic, worked hard to complete the schools on deadline.
In the context of this summer’s civil unrest and his decision to remove the confederate monuments on Monument Avenue, the mayor emphasized the progress these schools represent for Black and brown Richmonders.
“I am very proud we had the courage to take down the monuments to the confederate cause, but I am even prouder of what we have built here today. We have built a brighter future for our children,” said Mayor Stoney.