Tuckahoe Middle School could receive $28.2 million for renovations if a voter referendum passes. (Photo by Elizabeth Humphreys)
When casting their ballots on Nov. 8, Henrico County residents will be asked to respond “yes” or “no” to five questions in a bond referendum, the first since 2005. Voters will be able to greenlight up to 26 projects totaling around $420 million. Those include plans to build a library and four schools and renovate fire stations, parks and existing schools. At Tuckahoe Middle School, built in 1958, parents and teachers have been calling for renovations for more than a year. If the referendum passes, Tuckahoe would receive $28.2 million.
“My daughter went to Tuckahoe Middle in the 1980s,” says Henrico Supervisor Pat O’Bannon. “And since then she had kids of her own go there. All she could tell me was, ‘Mom, they haven’t done anything there,’ ” in terms of renovations in the intervening years.
In a referendum, the county sells general obligation bonds to investors with the promise to pay back the total, plus interest. Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas says the projects will be completed gradually and they will be funded with no increase in the tax rate. Vithoulkas says the county will use income from the tax placed on prepared meals in 2013 to pay for the school renovations. General tax revenue will cover the other projects, which include a resurfacing of all county high school athletic fields, upgrades to a 2-mile section of the Richmond-Mechanicsville Turnpike and a $55 million renovation to J.R. Tucker High School. For details, visit henrico.us/bonds.