New bill would open up renovation possibility for 36 aging Hampton Roads schools

WASHINGTON – Some aging Hampton Roads schools may be getting a makeover soon thanks to a new bill introduced by U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner.

Truitt Intermediate School in Chesapeake was built in the 1920s. (Google Maps)

Kaine, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) and Budget Committees, and Warner, a member of the Senate Budget and Finance Committees, introduced the School Infrastructure Modernization Act on Wednesday.

The bill will spur public and private investment in renovating active historic school buildings.

Currently, buildings receive a tax credit only if they have been renovated to serve a different function than before. The new bill would waive the prior use clause, allowing school districts with aging buildings and tight budgets to partner with private entities to finance renovations that the districts would not be able to afford otherwise.

According to a 2013 analysis, approximately 40% of K-12 schools in Virginia – more than 800 schools – are at least 50 years old.

The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program has played a role in rehabilitating historic structures and revitalizing communities for more than 35 years.  In the Commonwealth alone, the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit (HTC) has helped restore more than 1,200 structures since 1997.

Examples of current and former Hampton Roads schools that could be eligible for this tax credit are:

 

  • Chesapeake City – Truitt Intermediate
  • Chesapeake City – Norfolk Highlands Primary
  • Chesapeake City – Deep Creek Middle
  • Chesapeake City – Hickory Elementary
  • Chesapeake City – Southwestern Elementary
  • Chesapeake City – B.M. Williams Primary
  • Chesapeake City – G.A. Treakle Elementary
  • Chesapeake City – Deep Creek Central Elementary
  • Chesapeake City – Southeastern Elementary
  • Chesapeake City – Edwin W. Chittum Elementary
  • Chesapeake City – Great Bridge Primary
  • Chesapeake City – George W. Carver Intermediate
  • Chesapeake City – Crestwood Intermediate
  • Chesapeake City – Crestwood Middle
  • Hampton City – Benjamin Syms Middle
  • Hampton City – Robert E. Lee Elementary
  • Hampton City – Aberdeen Elementary
  • Hampton City – Thomas Eaton Middle
  • Hampton City – Mary Peake Center
  • Hampton City – Moton Early Childhood Center
  • Hampton City – Armstrong Elementary
  • Newport News City – Hilton Elementary
  • Newport News City – Huntington Middle
  • Norfolk City – Granby High
  • Norfolk City – Matthew Fontaine Maury High
  • Norfolk City – Madison Alternative School Center
  • Portsmouth City – Emily Spong Pre-School Center
  • Portsmouth City – Cradock Middle
  • Portsmouth City – William E. Waters Middle
  • Portsmouth City – Old S. H. Clarke Voc. Ctr.
  • Portsmouth City – Olive Branch Pre-School Center
  • Portsmouth City – Mount Hermon Elementary
  • Portsmouth City – Mount Hermon Pre-School Center
  • Southampton County – Southampton Middle
  • Suffolk City – Florence Bowser Elementary
  • Suffolk City – Mount Zion Elementary