Carrollton developments underway

Published 11:37 pm Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Site work has begun on two Carrollton housing developments, which collectively are projected to bring nearly 200 additional students to Isle of Wight County’s school system.

That’s according to population estimates an Ohio-based consulting firm, Cooperative Strategies, supplied to Isle of Wight County’s School Board in 2018. That study projected nearly 900 new students entering the school system over the next 12 to 13 years when all currently planned and in-progress housing developments throughout the county are completed.

The first of the two planned Carrollton developments, known as Brewer’s Station, will include 65 single-family residences, 162 apartment units, 34 condominiums and up to 85,000 square feet of commercial space, according to permits the county approved in 2014. These are to be constructed along both sides of Brewer’s Neck Boulevard near the road’s intersection with New Towne Haven Lane.

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The second, known as The Crossings, will be built at Brewer’s Neck Boulevard’s intersection with Carrollton Boulevard, and is permitted for up to 240 apartment or condo units and up to 234,000 square feet of commercial space. But according to Amy Ring, the county’s director of community development, the developer plans to construct only 210 units at this time. Plans submitted to the county at the time of the parcel’s rezoning show a shopping center of 202,100 square feet, Ring said.

Brewer’s Station alone is expected to have a financial impact of over $1 million on the school system, according to a memorandum Superintendent Dr. Jim Thornton sent to the county’s planning and zoning staff in 2018. That memo had named four schools that would be directly impacted: Carrollton Elementary, Westside Elementary, Smithfield Middle School and Smithfield High School.

To account for this financial impact, the property’s developer, Francis P. Norsworthy Jr., has agreed to pay the county $6,819 per single-family residence and $5,328 per multi-family residence and condo, for a total of $1.48 million. Similarly, The Crossings’ developer, Gary Werner of Franciscus Homes, has agreed to pay $7,500 per unit for a total of $1.8 million, but will receive $917,000 of that money back if he can provide an appraisal showing a minimum net new taxable investment of $20 million or more. The proffers are due at the time a certificate of occupancy is issued, Ring said.

According to Lynn Briggs, spokeswoman for Isle of Wight County Schools, the division is planning to build a new Hardy Elementary School with a capacity of 885 students. That will accommodate the 500-student population of the existing 1960s-era school building, plus those who will be rezoned from Carrollton. The division is also planning to expand the capacity of Westside Elementary either via a renovation or new construction.

“The size of Westside would have to accommodate the growth in Carrollton since it is a feeder school for both Hardy and Carrollton elementary schools,” Briggs said. 

The new or renovated Westside would become a grades 5-7 middle school, with the current Smithfield Middle School and Smithfield High School complex being converted into one school for grades 8-12. Currently, Westside is grades 4-6 and SMS, grades 7-8. Once this occurs, Hardy Elementary and Carrollton Elementary would both become pre-kindergarten through fourth grade schools, Briggs said. Currently, Carrollton only goes to third grade and Hardy is pre-K through fourth grade.