FAQs

HHS2 is in the news again and it looks like the new City Council may vote to build a new high school to open in fall 2022. On Tuesday, November 20, 2018 the Daily News-Record (DN-R) featured an article about the next City Council’s opinions on HHS2. Mayor Reed, Council Member Jones and future Council Member Romero are in favor of moving up the timeline to 2022. Council Member Hirschman is against it. Once again, Council Member Baugh is holding his cards close to his chest. Wednesday’s DN-R Editorial discussed the matter.

One thing is clear, almost twice as many people voted for candidates who support building HHS2 as soon as possible.

We recognize that building a second high school is a huge step for Harrisonburg, but our city is in a fortunate position. Harrisonburg is an attractive place to live and it continues to be one of the fastest growing cities in the state. Our population is growing. We should not be compared to a Petersburg or a Bristol (unlike the forewarning in the DN-R editorial); their populations are shrinking. We are more like Lynchburg or Charlottesville, which like Harrisonburg, are among the fastest growing cities in the state.

History will repeat itself if we do not account for errors in past projections. Harrisonburg’s elected officials must make informed decisions that will provide the children of our city with a high quality education both now and in the future. Falls Church is another city that is rapidly growing, and in 2017 they looked at all of their options and came to the conclusion that they need to build a new high school that can accommodate their growth for the next 10 years—and beyond. That school will open in 2019. We’ve known that we didn’t have enough space in our high school (and middle schools and elementary schools) for longer, yet the earliest we can fix this problem is 2022.

Council Member Hirschman voted to delay building a new high school until 2023 “…to get our debt down.” This delay has added to the cost of our school. Construction costs have and continue to increase. If we believe in our students, our schools, and our community, why delay and pay more later, when we can pay less now? We have debt and infrastructure to fund, but our schools make Harrisonburg an attractive place to live and help fuel our growth. Our students are the future workforce of our community and a critical resource for growing our local economy.

Many of us have worried about the effects of building HHS2 and funding infrastructure will have on those who have limited or fixed incomes. There is a solution; our City Manager has assured us that state code allows Harrisonburg to provide tax breaks to individuals who are retired or are asset limited and income constrained.

When the new City Council is convened in January, we hope that they will move forward with funding for HHS2 for a 2022 opening. Council should look at every possible way to fund the school, but they should fund it now! We hope that our new School Board will engage the entire community to plan for our second high school and that City Council will support the recommendations of School Board.

We’re excited to see our city invest in Harrisonburg’s future!

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?

About

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.

Community

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 …

Contact

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