The Virginia Beach School Board voted 8-2 Wednesday to move the Adult Learning Center to the Renaissance Academy.
The board has been reviewing information about the move since Anthony Arnold, director of facilities planning and construction, presented the proposal in September. It will move the Adult Learning Center about 2.5 miles to the Renaissance Academy’s location at North Witchduck Road and Cleveland Street.
Arnold said the move would make better use of the Renaissance Academy, which was built as a multi-purpose building and hasn’t been used to its full potential. He cited under-enrollment at the Academy, which was built to hold 1,600 students but has just more than 600, as a main reason behind the move.
Officials estimate that improvements and construction to the Renaissance Academy to accommodate the Adult Learning Center would involve one-time costs of about $750,000. They estimate savings of about $222,000 a year from not having to pay custodial and maintenance fees for the current building that houses the Adult Learning Center, near Town Center.
Board members Leonard Tengco and Ashley McLeod voted against the move. Tengco had concerns about having adults, especially those with a criminal record, in the same building as children. The deputy city attorney said structural work would be done to keep the two populations apart, and people with criminal sex offenses on their record would be prohibited from the Adult Learning Center because they would not be allowed on school property.
Construction will begin this summer and continue into the fall, with an opening targeted for December 2016.