HHS2 Progress

Find updates on the progress of the second high school at HCPS New HS page. For conversation and media updates, visit our Facebook page @forhhs2.

Review the project page found at Nielsen Builders here.

And here’s the HHS2 project page from the architect, Grimm + Parker.

Ground has been broken. HHS2 to open Aug. 2022! 2023?

Representatives of the For HHS2 group dig into the ground at the new site. Members of the community and city council attended the event to celebrate the start of the construction of the new high school. 

Ethan Swift


HHS is 500+ students over capacity. Enrollment in the high school is only going up. Will a second high school open in August 2022 or August 2023? For HHS2 to open in Aug 2022, ground needs to be broken in December of 2019. This means that City Council will need to vote on the issue during the 11/12 meeting or the school will be delayed until Aug 2023.

Tuesday, November 5 (2019), the School Board will find out the Guaranteed Maximum Price (see PDF: HHS2-GMP_Proposal-05NOV19) for Harrisonburg’s second high school when the architect/builder team present the 60% drawings. We think building a second high school is critical and sooner is better (and less expensive) than later.  https://go.boarddocs.com/vsba/hcsva/Board.nsf/Public

It’s been a while since much of the community has been closely engaged in this issue and we want to remind you of the issues surrounding HHS2. 

How much will this cost? The longer we delay on the build, the more this school will cost. Almost two years ago, the projected price was about $75M dollars. Prices have gone up over the past 2 years and are projected to increase even more as we delay. We won’t be surprised if the guaranteed minimum price is larger. We did some calculations based on what recent school builds have cost per square foot and we wouldn’t be surprised by a price of $92M.

Do we really need a second high school? As of the 9/30/2019 census for the Department of Education, there were 1881 students at HHS. HHS was build for 1360 students. There are a lot of students in the high school and that number is only going to increase. Almost all cohorts of students grades 8 and below have more students than grades 9 and up. 

Why didn’t we just add on to HHS? In 2017, a space study committee consisting of parents, teachers and community members looked at the options of an annex, addition or new high school. Based on enrollment projects, the way the current HS was built, and thinking about the needs of Harrisonburg students and teachers, the committee recommended a new high school. In the long run, this was the most fiscally responsible decision and provides the best educational opportunities for Harrisonburg students. https://harrisonburg.k12.va.us/District/1754–District-page-mode-view-ID-1154.html

Why is the school going to be at that location at South Main? It was the only piece of land that was large enough in Harrisonburg City that was for sale. We don’t love the location either, but the city can only buy land that is for sale. City Council has continually decided not to purchase land for new schools because it takes the land off the tax rolls. That means when it’s time to build a new school, there are limited options for where to put it because the City has to go out and find land.

Which school will my student attend? We don’t know and are pretty sure that hasn’t yet been decided. Our understanding is that the city will district students based on their residence. Students will have a home school, but if they are in the STEM or Fine Arts programs, they will take those specialized classes at the school that has the Academy. Both schools will continue to offer strong programs in all subjects. There will be opportunities for the students to travel between the two schools. HCPS are working to ensure that there is equity between the two schools.

This new school isn’t quite what I’d hoped for… why can’t we get everything we wanted? There are things we like about the new school and there are things that we’re unhappy about. Although we don’t always see this at the national or Commonwealth levels, government is about compromise. We think that this is a case where the positives outweigh the negatives. 

If you have additional questions, email forhhs2@gmail.com. We’ll do our best to post accurate responses to your questions.

In the News Again (2018 Nov)
Why is ForHHS2 still a group?
What are ForHHS2’s priorities moving forward?
When will the HHS2 debate end?
How much could taxes increase?
What is the “6th/9th grade shuffle” about?
Didn’t we just spend a lot of money on Bluestone Elementary?
Aren’t you rushing into this? What’s with all the urgency?
How overcrowded is HHS, really? Can’t we just make classes a little bigger?


We are a local group of Harrisonburg residents who are concerned about overcrowding at our high school. We are citizens, homeowners, parents, grandparents, educators, aunts, uncles, and taxpayers. We are a community. We are the friendly city. We are close-knit neighborhoods. We believe it’s important for the people who live and work in our community to speak out about what they believe is best for our future.

Many of us have lived here for decades, even more have recently made the Valley our home. We choose to live in Harrisonburg because we want to be part of a local community with friendly people. We take great pride in our city, the quality of life, and we love Harrisonburg City Public Schools.

We appreciate our teachers and the daily connections they make with each and every child. We donate our time and money to the many activities and events that support our schools every day. We believe that growth is good for our friendly city. And we support the construction of a second high school in Harrisonburg.

Expanding the amenities and facilities in our city will increase accessibility to quality education and develop a valuable asset for this special community that we all call home. We are ForHHS2. We are for the Future of Rocktown.


Candidate Sal Romero, Jr. responds to ForHHS2 survey

Describe your background in education, Harrisonburg City Public Schools, and public education. I attended school in the Shenandoah Valley between 8-12th grade.I attended Broadway High School, BRCC, JMU, and Shenandoah University. I have been working in education since 2004. For the past 12 years, I have worked at Harrisonburg City Public Schools in the following …

Candidate Paloma Saucedo responds to ForHHS2 survey

Describe your background in education, Harrisonburg City Public Schools, and public education. I began my career as an educator in Mexico. I taught English as a Second Language and English as a Foreign Language at all levels (K-12 and post–secondary) in both the public and private sectors. I was also a teacher trainer for Secretaria …

Candidate Carolyn W Frank responds to ForHHS2 survey

Describe your background in education, Harrisonburg City Public Schools, and public education. I attended public schools in Rockingham County, graduating from Elkton High School in 1971. I attended the current Massanutten Technical Center as an adult student at night to prepare myself for an opportunity to advance my career with Verizon phone company.  My two …


We are locals. We are Harrisonburg. We are accessible. We are a community, and we welcome you to join us.

Email: forhhs2@gmail.com
Facebook: @forhhs2
Twitter: @ForHHS2