RADFORD — McHarg Elementary is finally getting the facelift it needs after a decade of discussions between various city officials.
City council and school board members, along with other community stakeholders, celebrated the school’s renovation with a groundbreaking ceremony that included a short concert by the city high school’s drumline.
Before the ceremony, Superintendent Rob Graham talked about the journey to Wednesday.
“I was the assistant superintendent in 2010 when we had a meeting in that building about what to do with McHarg,” he said, pointing to the school’s art room. “It wasn’t a discussion about if something needed to be done, but if we should renovate or build a whole new school.”
A number of politicians serving on the city’s two major governing bodies have come and gone since the talks started, but Councilwoman Jesse Foster served on the school board for much of them, before being elected to city council in 2018.
“It’s taken a long time to see this project come to fruition. It’s always been about the kids, but one of the biggest factors in getting this project going was the community support in raising taxes to pay for the school,” she said of the project that will cost the city approximately $16 million. “If we didn’t have that support, this probably wouldn’t be happening.”