Petition for the Blacksburg HS Property
Note: Public Meeting Monday 1/30 at 7:00 pm, 755 Roanoke Street, Christiansburg, Multipurpose Room 2: joint public session between the County Board of Supervisors and the School Board
This is a petition from the residents of Montgomery County to the Board of Supervisors. We urge our Supervisors to fulfill their duty in accurately representing their constituents. We, your constituents, oppose the residential development of the old Blacksburg High School property.
We urge instead that the county accepts the Town of Blacksburg's offer to purchase the property to ensure that 1) the recreational facilities of the property are maintained and revived for our residents after the demolition of the building, and 2) the property is preserved for the future elementary school that will be needed as our population increases.
We hold this stance for the following reasons:
- Montgomery County holds a population of 94,392 people (and growing), a thriving university, and claims of being the #1 place to raise children...yet 60% of the population lacks access to our embarrassingly underfunded public recreation facilities. If we are genuine about wanting to bring in and maintain young, bright, professionals and their families, we have to be able to compete with places like Charlottesville and Roanoke in "Quality of Life" indicators, especially recreational and educational facilities. A high quality of life is imperative to effective and equitable economic development in the county.
- Our population is rapidly outgrowing our existing elementary schools. Ironically, by promoting residential development on this property, the county is only increasing the need for another school. When (not if) the county needs school land in the future, they will 1. face huge challenges acquiring property, as our remaining open land dwindles, and 2. face monumental cost, as we did with the new Blacksburg High School, new Blacksburg Middle School, and new Prices Fork projects. We should learn from our very recent history and this time hold the land as an asset for the future school.
- The old Blacksburg High School property already contains the recreational facilities we need for our community (track, softball fields, soccer fields, etc.). It makes very little sense financially for the county to allow a housing developer to build over these assets and gain personal profit, leaving the county and taxpayers to find, purchase, and create identical recreational facilities elsewhere in the county.
- The sale of the property is unlikely to bring in more than the town's offer of $2.75 million, which, in the grand scheme of things, is less than 2% of the county's $150 million budget anyway. Further, the argument that residential development will generate tax revenue is a flawed argument in light of the costs. Typically, residential development costs more than the tax revenue it generates (costs for the county in Blacksburg include social services, courts, health services, and schools).
Our Board of Supervisors are obligated to represent us. Let's ensure that they make the smart choice.
Contact Your County Supervisors:
District A: Annette Perkins.(540) 552-4706 firstname.lastname@example.org
District B: Chris Tuck. (540) 633-2354 email@example.com
District C: Gary Creed. (540) 577-9082 firstname.lastname@example.org
District D: Todd King. (540) 315-2302 email@example.com
District E: Darrell Sheppard. (540) 577-0813 firstname.lastname@example.org
District F: Mary Biggs. (540) 951-2906 email@example.com
District G: April DeMotts. (540) 577-0928 firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact your Town of Blacksburg Council Members:
Mayor Ron Rordam, 540-961-1148, email@example.com
Vice Mayor Leslie Hager-Smith, 540-961-0698, firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Member, Susan Anderson, 540-231-8041, email@example.com
Council Member, John Bush, 540-558-8087, firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Member Krishna Chachra, 540-818-6452, email@example.com
Council Member Cecile Newcomb, 540-267-6358 firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Member Michael Sutphin, 540-231-6716, email@example.com
From the county website: "Public meetings are the second and fourth Monday of each month at the Montgomery County Government Center, 755 Roanoke St. in Christiansburg. Closed sessions begin at 6 p.m. if needed. Open sessions begin at 7:15 p.m. Citizens are invited to attend and allowed to speak at each meeting. All regular meetings of the Board of Supervisors are rebroadcast on Montgomery County Comcast and Shentel Channels 190 at 8 a.m. and 9 p.m"
Our Mayor Ron Rordam supports this stance. Please read his commentary here: http://www.roanoke.com/opinion/commentary/rordam-t...