Jan 23, 2023 - News

What's next for Fox Elementary

The interior of Fox Elementary as cleanup work progressed. Photo: Courtesy of Richmond Public Schools

A timeline for rebuilding Richmond's Fox Elementary is coming together nearly a year after the building burned down in a catastrophic fire.

What's happening: School officials released preliminary plans for the building and outlined a nearly two-year design and construction schedule in meetings this month.

  • If there are no delays, work would be complete by fall of 2024 at the earliest.

Why it matters: The fire displaced hundreds of school children. Questions have since arisen about whether the perpetually cash-strapped school district's insurance policy would cover the full cost of a rebuild.

  • Late last year, sources told WTVR that there was a potential $10 million shortfall.

What they're saying: Negotiations with the insurance company are ongoing, Dana Fox, the district's chief operating officer, tells Axios.

  • "Hoping to reach a final agreement soon," she wrote in an email.
  • She said the district is still reviewing its cost estimates and declined to share a figure for the project.
Photos: Courtesy of Richmond Public Schools
Renderings show a rebuilt Fox looking almost exactly like the original 1911 structure. Image: Courtesy of Richmond Public Schools

Worth noting: Fox said she does not anticipate any delays in construction as a result of negotiations.

Catch up fast: Fox Elementary caught fire last February.

  • Authorities classified the blaze as accidental, but a cause was never determined.
  • Firefighters searched the building the night of the fire after a neighbor reported the fire alarm was going off, but said they found nothing out of the ordinary.
  • Less than half an hour later, the building was engulfed in flames.

What's next: The district expects to finalize design work by April.

  • Construction is expected to take 16 months once plans are approved by the city’s planning commission.

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