New John M. Gandy Elementary School

New John M. Gandy Elementary School

Five House signs Hanover County Public Schools is proud to be constructing a new elementary school — a consolidation of Henry Clay and John M. Gandy elementary schools — that is set to open for the 2024-25 school year!

The new school building, located on the current John M. Gandy site in Ashland, will be the first new school constructed in Hanover County since Laurel Meadow Elementary School opened in 2008.

Bringing Two Schools Together

Henry Clay Elementary (HCES) currently serves students in pre-K through second grade, with students then attending John M. Gandy Elementary (JGES) for third through fifth grades. The two schools have a longstanding partnership and are bonded together through a “house” system that instills important character traits such as innovation, empathy, and respect in students.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to build a new, student-centered facility that will unite two schools while honoring the storied histories of both and embracing the bright future that it will create for generations to come,” said Dr. Michael Gill, Superintendent of Schools. “The new school will be one the entire community can be proud of. We will involve our students, families, staff, and the broader community throughout this process as we chart the school’s promising path forward together.”

Timeline To Date

Three students hugging each other
  • February 2018: As part of its annual budget process, the Hanover County School Board approved its Capital Improvement Plan, which included funding for the replacement of a to-be-determined elementary school.
  • May 2018: At a School Board work session, board members learned through the results of a study requested by the board that Henry Clay Elementary is one of three schools in the county that is in need of replacing.
  • September 2018: After touring the three schools identified in the independent study, the School Board announced its desire to consolidate HCES and JGES as a first step in the long-term capital planning process.
  • November 2018: The School Board held a community information session on the consolidation.
  • May 2021: HCPS announces that Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates, a Charlottesville-based architectural firm, will lead the design of the new school.
  • June 2021: HCPS and Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates host eight interactive meetings for students, faculty, staff, and the broader community to provide input on the design of the consolidated school.
  • September 2021: At its fall retreat, the School Board receives an architectural update from Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates.
  • December 2021: The School Board receives an update during its monthly meeting on the design of the new school, including preliminary renderings.
  • February 2022: The Ashland Planning Commission unanimously approves the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for the new school after receiving an update from Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates.
  • March 2022: The Ashland Town Council unanimously approves the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for the new school following a public hearing and a presentation from Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates.
  • March 2022: Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates presents an update to the School Board during a work session.
  • May 2022: Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates presents an update to the Board of Supervisors.


If you have any questions about the construction of the new school, please contact [email protected].

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