The Culpeper County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved funding $17.3 million for the county’s first Career and Technical Education Tuesday morning.
The county had previously approved $16 million for the facility, but after five alternatives were added to the building plan, an additional $1.3 million was added to the project.
Culpeper County Public Schools Superintendent Tony Brads said that schools had opened bids on Aug. 15 and received a low bid of $13.74 million from Loughridge Construction. Once the schools added in the $1.3 million for planning and another $1.5 million for fixtures, furniture and equipment - it was evident that the funding required would be more than the board had previously planned for.
Brads said that a metal roof, a canopy outside for trade area, a mezzanine and skylights were some of the alternative items added to the building - totaling $755,000.
The CTE school will be built on property along McDevitt Drive, leased from Germanna Community College as part of a 60-year lease.
The CTE school will house a nursing program, culinary arts, maker spaces, cosmetology, five different areas of building trade, automotive (including diesel), EMT and cyber security.
East Fairfax supervisor Steve Walker questioned if the facility would remain for both schools and Brads said that “100 percent” both Culpeper County High School and Eastern View High School would be sending students to the CTE school.
Cedar Mountain supervisor Jack Frazier, who served on the joint CTE committee, asked Culpeper County Administrator John Eggertson how the additional money would affect the county’s tax rate. Eggertson and county finance director Valerie Lamb responded that most of the funding had already been worked into the budget and that debt service was factored into the 2020 fiscal year.
“It shouldn’t have any impact on the tax rate,” Eggertson said.
Frazier said that the committee spent a lot of time on the five alternatives to the building plan and that all “were needed.”
“Construction costs have changed in three years,” Frazier said. “I’m pretty amazed at how small that number is.”
In other business:
• Culpeper County received its first Virginia Association of Counties Achievement Award, for the “I Voted” sticker contest that was hosted last year for fourth graders in the county. Natalie Nicholson won the contest and was featured on CBS Nightly News. Culpeper County Registrar James Clements said that plan was to utilize local students to create a new sticker design and hopefully drum up interest in the election. Laura Loveday, Special Projects and Grants Administrator for Culpeper County, said the project received a $3,350 grant from the PATH Foundation to help fund the stickers.
Gage Harter, with VACo, said there were 96 entries this year and 26 winners and praised Culpeper County for hosting the contest.
“We want our counties to replicate other counties,” he said.
• Eggertson discussed continuing the Culpeper Colonel awards, which haven’t been awarded in “two or three” years. He said an advertisement will be placed in local papers and supervisors will have an opportunity to nominate residents for the award.