After years of planning, the new Goochland Elementary School officially kicked-off construction Tuesday morning at a ground-breaking ceremony. Set to open in the fall of 2024, the new school will open its doors to students and become a hub for learning that will provide the academic foundation for Goochland County’s students for many years to come.
“The vision for the new Goochland Elementary School was developed by division staff, community members, and, best of all, students,” Goochland County Public Schools Superintendent Jeremy Raley, Ed.D., said. “We believed, and we continue to believe, that the student perspective was integral to developing the vision for the new school.” Victor Socola, a current Goochland Elementary School third-grade student, participated in the ceremony and will start his fifth-grade year at the new school. “Our students are the reason we are all here, and this school will have a lasting impact on every student who walks through the front door.”
The new GES is designed to be flexible and adaptable, collaborative and engaging, student-centered and age-appropriate, and connected to its beautiful 25-acre site and the nature that will surround the new building. “We are building a school that will be inviting, safe, and secure and will include systems that ensure operational efficiency so our community’s tax dollars can be spent in the classroom,” Raley said.
The overwhelming support of Goochland County citizens in a November 2021 Bond Referendum has enabled the county to incur debt for the school through the sale of general obligation bonds. School Board Chair Sandra Barefoot-Reid has been involved with GCPS since 1972 and has seen the construction of other schools in the county. “To me, playing a part in this project is like giving birth to my child, and it is near and dear to me,” she said. “Without the support of the citizens of Goochland County and their dedication to having a new elementary school, we would not be standing here today for this dedication ceremony.”
The new Goochland Elementary School will be built by Howard Shockey & Sons. The division’s owner representative is MBP, and the project architect is Stantec.
“I think the new Goochland elementary school project is a great example of what can be accomplished when you have a Board of Supervisors, School Board, and all of our administrators coming together to find solutions that benefit our citizens and maintain fiscal responsibility and balanced budgets,” Board of Supervisors Vice-Chair Charlie Vaughters said. “I can't wait to see this new Goochland Elementary School rise on the site and create amazing new educational opportunities for the children in this community,” he said.
“I am so excited by the possibilities this school brings to us,” Superintendent Raley said. “As we break ground today, we are not only officially beginning construction, but we are also beginning the long-lasting legacy of a school that will provide opportunities to thousands of students over the next 60 years. What a great day for Goochland County Public Schools!”