A $24.57 million contract for construction of a new Ettrick Elementary School was unanimously approved last week by the Chesterfield County Public Schools board....

A $24.57 million contract for construction of a new Ettrick Elementary School was unanimously approved last week by the Chesterfield County Public Schools board.

Oyster Point Construction Co. of Newport News was the low bidder out of five. The others were Kenbridge Construction Co., Southwood Building Systems, Sorensen Gross Construction Services and Gulf Seaboard General Contractors. The highest bid was $24.897 million by Kenbridge.

The total budget for the project is $27.1 million, including an estimated additional cost of $1 million for an expanded gymnasium.

The county – which requested that the school district expand school gyms by 3,565 square feet to accommodate community use – is paying for the additional design and construction costs, a school board document states.

Other elementary schools that would have an expanded gym include: Harrowgate, Crestwood and Reams.

The new Ettrick Elementary – which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2021 – and Reams Elementary are the last two of 11 schools to either be renovated or replaced as a result of the $304 million bond referendum that voters approved in 2013.

During public comment Aug. 12, Matoaca resident Brenda Stewart asked the board to delay approval of the construction contract for the new Ettrick school due to concerns about the selected site.

“It doesn’t comply with the Comprehensive Plan,” which she said calls for 20 to 30 acres for an elementary school.

In addition, Stewart said the school will be 15,000 square feet larger than the current school, which she said has a capacity of 844 students, but the new school will only be designed for 750 students.

Matoaca board member Rob Thompson said it is more responsible to spend dollars on reconstruction instead of renovation, which Stewart had noted the plan originally included.

A groundbreaking ceremony at the site is scheduled for this fall.

Rock climbing wall
Also last week, the school board approved a donation from the C.C. Wells Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association for a rock climbing wall valued at $5,955.

Toward the conclusion of the Aug. 12 board meeting, superintendent Merv Daugherty presented each school board member with a football, or “game ball,” for his or her work.