The Botetourt Board of Supervisors has scheduled a public hearing to take comments on a proposed $22.5 million bond issue to build a new elementary school in the Blue Ridge area.

The School Board has also scheduled a special meeting at the same time— Thursday, March 29 at 7 p.m. at Lord Botetourt High School.

The Botetourt Economic Development Authority (EDA) has already agreed to a purchase option on almost 27 acres that belong to H. Forest and Pejie Murray at 142 Murray Drive, Troutville, the site of the proposed new school. Should the sale be finalized, the EDA will serve as the conduit to purchase the property for $1.1 million for the School Board.

The School Board has already issued a request for proposals (RFP) for an architectural and engineering study on the Murray property, and has applied to be included in the next Virginia Public School Authority (VPSA) bond issue for construction money.

The supervisors have to approve including the $22.5 million in the VPSA bond issue.

The School Board is proposing to build a new school to replace the 79-year-old Colonial Elementary School.

If approved by the supervisors, the bond issue will allow the school division to acquire the Murray property and start construction as early as this coming winter, School Superintendent John Busher said. The school could open as early as August 2020.

The Murray property is off Laymantown Road.

Busher said the $22.5 million is a best estimate of the cost of a new elementary school based on calculations the Virginia Department of Education uses.

The EDA has already approved issuing an RFP to get the cost for “mass earth moving” on the Murray property.