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James City County’s Board of Supervisors unanimously approved funding for an auxiliary gym for Lafayette High School Tuesday night.
The school had previously been using the gymnasium at James Blair Middle School, but the school and its gym were demolished in the summer.
As a result, the baseball, softball, field hockey, JV girls volleyball, and boys and girls basketball have been displaced. Their new practice locations include the Williamsburg Indoor Sports Complex, James River Elementary and James City County Recreation Center.
Some students currently walk a worn trail through a ravine to reach the WISC, and the school’s current gym only has enough space for one team to practice at a time. Parents of Lafayette students have long been calling for additional facilities for the school’s student athletes.
“I’m excited to see the plans that are coming forward,” Supervisor Kevin Onizuk said at Tuesday’s meeting. “There seems to be a lot of support coming from parents and students. It does appear to be something that is much-needed.”
WJCC ended the 2016 fiscal year with a $3,448,549 surplus in funding and, by their contract with the City of Williamsburg and JCC, the allocation of surplus funds must receive approval from both governing bodies. Williamsburg-James City County School Board cannot carry over funding from one fiscal year to the next, according to section 22 of the state code.
JCC’s portion of the funding is $2,407,300. Of the surplus funding, $1,357,500 would go toward funding the gym and $153,850 would be allocated for construction management.
“It’s important that we’re always looking at our facility needs,” said Supervisor Ruth Larson. “I’m excited for the Lafayette community.”
The plan also allocated funding for eight new school buses for the WJCC district and uniforms for the district’s school bands.