Albemarle supervisors, School Board begin to reckon with uncertain budgets – The Daily Progress

“We almost never get past trying to find room for kids,” she said. “But I think this is unfortunately the path we need to take.”

For this school year, the division’s enrollment has dropped by about 1,000 students compared to what officials were expecting. That drop is mostly felt at the elementary level and is not equally distributed among the schools.

Supervisor Diantha McKeel suggested that with the enrollment drop, the School Board might find that capacity needs have changed.

“All I’m saying is that we need to look at our capacity issues and not just build based on what was before,” she said.

Ned Gallaway, chairman of the board of Supervisors, and School Board vice-chairwoman Katrina Callsen suggested that virtual learning could be a tool to help the school division address capacity issues.

“But in my head when I hear that we’re down 1,000, I can’t help but think that those thousand are going to come, plus more,” Gallaway said. “The population growth in Albemarle is going to continue.”

School Board member David Oberg said that the current situation “sucks for all of us.” Although he hoped the economic situation wouldn’t resemble 2010, he said the county should opt to build.

He said that 2010 was “the time to build” because there was the opportunity to hire contractors at a much lower cost than usual.

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