Roanoke Schools Long-Term Round Hill Plan Hits Roadblock - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Roanoke Schools Long-Term Round Hill Plan Hits Roadblock in Form of Train

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The Roanoke City School System's long-term plan to pay for millions in renovations at Round Hill Elementary School has hit a potential roadblock, in the form of a train.

Roanoke City staff recommended to city council that it add a little over $6 million to the capital improvement budget over the next four years to get ready for passenger rail.

The city will need to renovate the long culvert that snakes alongside Campbell Avenue in the eastern part of the city.

City leaders say the eventual passenger rail line will be built on top of the culvert, so it has to be improved in order to handle the weight.

The commonwealth has promised $102 million in order to bring passenger rail service back to Roanoke, a promise some city leaders have dreamed about for years.

The shifting in capital improvement priorities cost several city departments money, including the school system, the Roanoke Civic Center, the library system, and the parks and recreation department.

The school district asked for $7 million over a two year period in the capital improvement plan in order to help pay for more renovations at Round Hill.

Unless Roanoke City Council changes its plan, the school system will only get half of the requested amount.

"I think the council is doing the best it can with the hand it's been dealt," said Roanoke City Schools Superintendent Dr. Rita Bishop.

The Roanoke Civic Center will lose $500,000 annually through 2018.

The parks and recreation department will lose $1.5 million through 2016.

Council members promised the school system they'll continue to find ways to get it more money.

City leaders aren't scheduled to adopt the next capital budget, and operating budget, until May 13.