Save part of old Hardy?

Published 6:26 pm Tuesday, September 13, 2022

School Board Chairwoman Denise Tynes has asked Isle of Wight County Schools staff to again examine the possibility of saving and repurposing part of the 1960s Hardy Elementary School rather than demolishing the entire building when its replacement opens in 2023.

Tynes has proposed what would become a detached addition to the new Hardy campus as a preschool, similar to the Little Sprouts program that currently operates out of Windsor Elementary.

The Little Sprouts program partners high school early childhood career and technical education students with preschoolers, allowing them to gain experience working with children while providing child care services. The program currently has limited space and gives priority to IWCS employees in need of day care services for their children during the school day.

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Site plans from April 2021 for the replacement Hardy currently under construction had called for saving a 17,251-square-foot wing of the old school that houses a gymnasium, and called for the creation of a 25-space parking lot for the detached building. Those plans, which called for repurposing the gymnasium into a school administration building, were put on hold in September of that year as one of several design changes the project’s architectural firm, RRMM, proposed to save on costs.