RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond Public School Board agreed to renovate William Fox Elementary instead of rebuilding in a unanimous vote on Friday.
Board members expressed their satisfaction with the board’s agreement.
“I’m super happy to support this resolution,” said board member Elizabeth Doerr (1st District). “I’m glad we were able to come together to prioritize the Fox community.”
“I’m thankful that this board recognizes the importance of this building as a true hub of the community that it sits in,” said board member Kenya Gibson (3rd District). “I’m thankful that we were ready to take action as soon as possible to ensure that the building can be preserved.”
Gibson also made a point of comparing the care with which Fox has been given for renovation with the 2019 destruction of George Mason Elementary.
“Right after we decided to take down the monuments we took down that historic building right down with it.
It’s just such a contrast, you know? To consider how that project was approached and to think about this,” Gibson said. “I received at least a dozen emails from folks who really wanted to preserve Fox, and I was glad to see that, but I wish too that the same concern and care had also been considered for this other building which holds many stories and many hearts.”
Three board members were absent at the board meeting on Friday night — Cheryl Burke (7th District), Dawn Page (8th District) and Nicole Jones (9th District) — but those who were in attendance — the above-mentioned Gibson and Doerr, Mariah White (2nd District), Jonathan Young (4th District), Stephanie Rizzi (5th District), and Board Chair, Dr. Shona Harris-Muhammed (6th District) — all voted affirmatively of the motion to renovate.
The news comes after Superintendent Jason Kamras revealed his preference to renovate the building in a committee hearing last week.