Frequently Asked Questions
View the list of all proposed improvements here along with renderings and other background information.
The $141M will be used for Tier 1 projects as identified by Danville Public Schools. The proposed renovations and additions are:
George Washington High School – Built 1955
- Renovate classrooms to provide increased space along with infrastructure updates to boost access to technology.
- Expand the library with added collaboration spaces.
- STEM Academy
- Improvements and renovations to the Vocational Education and Career Technology Classes that will include Increased access to robotics and cyber security classes, a nursing lab, culinary arts and hospitality spaces, and skilled trades courses.
- Build a New Performance Gym with expanded seating for spectators and new locker rooms areas.
- Football Stadium Renovations
Langston School – Built 1957
- Renovate the campus to allow Galileo Magnet School to be relocated.
- Campus renovations will also allow the Central Office to be relocated from their rented space on Main Street to Langston’s campus.
- The renovations will also allow for the expansion of adult education offerings at the facility.
- The walking track will be refurbished with enhanced access for the community.
Elementary School Improvements
- Renovate elementary schools to eliminate the need for all trailer classrooms.
- Classroom renovations across the board will be made to expand access to technology and encourage STEM education.
- Improved access for buses and car rider
Yes the Virginia Lottery is used to fund educational initiatives BUT capital projects (such as construction and renovation) are no longer funded with lottery dollars. Learn more about how lottery funds are used in Virginia and click here to view a graphic that helps explain the programs it supports.
No. By law, this revenue can be used to pay for school construction or renovation. No other expenses.
No. The tax will end after 20 years or when the debt used to finance construction or renovation is paid off.
Medication and groceries.
This tax will be applied to any person that purchases retail goods in the City of Danville. This includes online sales from sites such as Amazon.com.
We know that a sales tax increase is not ideal but it’s the best option we have and we need to use it. On the plus side, visitors coming through our area and to our area for local events that eat at our restaurants, buy gas and shop locally will contribute to this fund as well.
9 out of 14 DPS schools were built prior to 1959. While there have been renovations over the past 20 years, there have been no large-scale additions or significant renovations that have moved the facilities from the 1950s to the 2000s.
Schools today have different requirements than schools built for our students’ parents and grandparents. Also, upgrades and additions are planned for our Career/Technical Education and Vocational facilities, Athletics and spaces that are open to community use.
Danville used to have great schools and we can again. But not without new investments. When our local economy changed almost 20 years ago, our schools were one of the first victims. We stopped investing in our schools and look where we are.
We can change it. If we want to change it.
We know all of our schools aren’t accredited and we know that this won’t change over night. We can’t change the past. We must support DPS’ new strategic plan and their vision for the future for our students. That’s their job. To set a strategic vision and to work towards it – both in the classrooms and outside of the classrooms.
Our job as a community is to do what we can to support our schools, our students and our teachers tomorrow and beyond. That one thing we can do right now? Vote to finance the renovation and revitalization of our school facilities to transform them into places that students want to be, teachers want to teach and our community wants to utilize.
We can’t change the past but we can certainly make a decision to build a brighter future.
While the City of Danville did receive a sizable sum from the casino project, there are many needs in our community. The City worked with an advisory group setting priorities for spending and hosting listening sessions throughout the community. The number one need that arose was to invest in education followed closely by infrastructure.
Of course, these are only two priorities out of many that were identified.
In truth, DPS needs its own revenue stream over the next 20 years that is designated specifically for school improvements and renovations to make all the changes that need to be made. While the City of Danville must request that the ballot initiatives are put to a vote, the ultimate decision for how to spend this revenue will come from the community listening sessions DPS has hosted, school administrators and the school board.
By law, this revenue can only be used for school construction projects and renovations. No utilities, no salaries, no supplies and no extras.
And that casino money? This bond referendum can’t cover everything so there are still needs to be met. It would also be great to have that to assist with programming, training, supplies and other activities within the schools and after school.
When you look around communities, school building conditions are clear indicators of investment or underinvestment in education by the locality. If you see schools in poor condition without improvements, it doesn’t provide a favorable view of that community.
Our existing facilities in Danville are not equipped to provide students with the best atmosphere possible or teachers with the tools and resources they need to teach modern concepts. By the time the casino starts generating revenue for the city (which could be as late as 2024) our schools will have fallen further behind and need more costly repairs.
Do you remember that saying, don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today? That’s the crossroads we’re at right now. Our students and teachers deserve better right now.
Great question. Those funds are earmarked for improvements that increase the safety of staff and students as they return to in-person learning. These are projects such as technology upgrades, new HVAC systems, replacing carpeted areas with tile, window repairs and other pandemic-related needs. While we will use these funds to address immediate needs, we’d much rather renovate and build out better facilities than making marginal improvements on older structures.
Also, these funds aren’t enough to help with the estimated $194M in facility improvements needed.
No. The law requires the funds to be spent on construction or renovation and the ultimate decision for how to spend this revenue will come from the community listening sessions DPS has hosted, school administrators and the school board to meet those needs.
The first item authorizes the 1% sales tax. The second item allows the city to borrow the money up front. Paying up front allows us to complete the construction at today’s prices.
A “yes” vote is needed for both.
Funding options are always being considered. Unfortunately, the amount of funding available for construction or renovation is limited. The Virginia General Assembly allows referendums because of this gap.
At the end of the day, it boils down to this: do you support improving the educational opportunities in the City of Danville?
If that answer is yes, then the choice is an easy one.
It’s no secret that many have bemoaned the state of public education in our community. The blame game has run rampant. There are some changes that can only be made internally by DPS but other changes are dependent upon the community to make it happen. This tax increase is a prime example. We can keep complaining or we as citizens and local business leaders can Vote Yes 4 DPS and move our schools forward. The choice is ours.