Video looks at Hardy Elementary

Published 6:15 pm Tuesday, April 30, 2019

By Frederic Lee

Staff writer

Isle of Wight County schools staff has published a video comparing Hardy Elementary to Carrollton Elementary, underscoring the former’s outdatedness, cracked and crumbling walls, volatile plumbing, cramped halls and altogether state of disrepair compared to the latter.   

Titled “Restore Hardy to Greatness,” the video is live as two of the county’s governing bodies — the School Board and Board of Supervisors — consider the best course of action for improving the school’s conditions.  {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

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“Welcome to school, a place where children of all sizes can pile together to learn and grow in close, tight-knit quarters,” the video starts out, narrated by County Schools Coordinator of Educational Technology and Communication David Elliott. 

The images of Hardy are shot with a sepia tone, as if it was filmed many decades ago. 

Scenes depict students coming out of a restroom at Hardy covering their noses, as the backing up and overflow of toilets at the school is an ongoing problem, according to school officials. Isle of Wight County Schools Spokesperson Lynn Briggs said that restroom renovations were a part of the Hardy expansion and renovation plan. 

“Speaking of cool, there’s plenty of ventilation to keep it just that way, except of course in the cafeteria, where there is none,” states the narrator; “It’s the perfect way to keep the food, as well as the staff, extra hot, while students enjoy sitting atop their peers in a small, intimate setting.”

In contrast, Carrollton Elementary’s wider halls, open floor plan and basic lack of visible infrastructure faults were shown, the interior bright with natural lighting. 

County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jim Thornton favored renovation over replacement of the school during the April 11 School Board meeting, citing budget constraints. He also emphasized Hardy’s structural soundness based on a recent report by engineering firm Speight, Marshal and Francis, P.C.  

School Board Chairperson Vicky Hulick did not say whether she wanted to renovate or replace the school at that meeting, but urged the Board of Supervisors to make a choice that would allow for the actual improvement process to begin within the next several months. 

On the flip side, the Board of Supervisors is still weighing the pros and cons of renovating versus replacing the school, and considering an independent cost analysis of the two options.  

Currently it is estimated to cost about $14 million to renovate Hardy Elementary School, which was built in 1961 and is the second oldest school building in Isle of Wight County. 

Watch the video on YouTube by searching, “Restore Hardy to Greatness,” published by Isle of Wight County Schools.  {/mprestriction}