The Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted last week to proceed with the $700,000 purchase of 21.2 acres for a revamped Harrowgate Park.
The purchase of land from Harrowgate LC should close within 30 days, county parks chief Stuart Connock said. He added that some wetlands on the perimeter of the site could allow for educational opportunities for students at Carver Middle and the future Harrowgate Elementary. He said county staff would finalize a development plan and bring that to the supervisors in September.
The land purchase and the relocation of Harrowgate Elementary could pave the way for a future east-west connector road in the county. The idea of such a road has been controversial because it would have been needed for a megasite project that was halted earlier this year.
County budget director Meghan Coates said the estimated cost of rebuilding Harrowgate Park is $5 million and that funds would come from a future bond sale. Appropriation of funds for the rebuild would be requested in September, the staff report states.
The plan is to build the new Harrowgate School west of Carver Middle School, where Harrowgate Park is currently located. A portion of the park would remain north of the new school, and the 21.2 acres that the county is slated to purchase would be located southwest of the school.
Supervisor Steve Elswick asked how much it would cost to put the new school on the land the county is slated to buy (instead of displacing parkland), but Connock didn’t know.
According to the staff report, the new school site was chosen from five that were evaluated.
Connock said that construction on the new Harrowgate Elementary is scheduled to start in March, with an opening planned for fall 2020. Harrowgate Elementary is currently located at 15501 Harrowgate Road, northeast of Carver Middle School. It was opened in 1960.