Facility Planning and Design


In the event that alternatives to school construction (attendance boundary adjustments, schoolcalendar revisions, class size increases, etc.) do not offer practical solutions to overcrowding in targeted school facility(ies), additions to current facilities or construction of new schools should be scheduled to alleviate crowded conditions in the targeted facilities by occurring no more than three years after anticipated overcrowding in the targeted facility(ies) has occurred. Overcrowding will be as defined in the supporting regulation.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, § 22.1-78; Philosophy Statement drafted by the Hanover County School Board October 1996 and officially adopted by the Hanover County Board of Supervisors October 28, 1998.

Recodified: August 2000
Amended: August 14, 2007


REGULATION 4-3.1 Definition of Overcrowding

Overcrowding is defined as more than 20 percent above capacity for three consecutive years. Capacity in a specific elementary school is computed by using the current pupil to teacher ratio in the school system multiplied by the number of classrooms used for general education grades K-5 at the school. For each secondary school, grades 6-12, capacity is computed using: 1) current pupil to teacher ratios for each instructional program area in the school system, multiplied by the number of classrooms used for each program and 2) an “efficiency” percentage to account for  specialized/low enrollment course offerings.

Adopted: August 14, 2007


The Hanover County School Board is responsible for the regular operation and orderly development of all school facilities. The School Board will concern itself with both short- and long- range planning. The division superintendent shall present to the School Board annually a ten-year Capital Improvement Program which will include recommendations regarding timing, location, costs and savings associated with new building requirements and/or restoration and renewal of existing school facilities.

Decisions pertaining to educational specifications for new buildings and renovations may be developed after input from a broad-based committee representing the staff and community. The committee will present to the division superintendent its recommendations for facilities utilization, development and closure.

Recommendations to the School Board shall be supported by researched facts and figures in compliance with the School Construction Philosophy that support the feasibility and need for construction and/or renovation. Ten-year enrollment projections will be prepared under the direction of the division superintendent and will be reviewed and brought up-to-date annually.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-78, 22.1-79(3), 22.1-53.13:6(A).

Recodified: August 2000


Hanover County Public School facilities shall be the result of a collaborative design process, which is in response to programmatic input. Each facility will also be a unique and appropriate response to the specific school site and population.

In Hanover County Public Schools, all learning environments, indoor and outdoor, should empower students to become individual learners, contribute to thoughtful studies, contribute to creative endeavors, and enhance specific skills or performance. The following areas need to be addressed in future new construction and renovations to ensure that all elementary, middle and high schools:

  1. are visually stimulating;

  2. incorporate abundant natural lighting;

  3. relate to students in scale and form;

  4. use materials and textures that relate to students;

  5. are student friendly;

  6. are inviting, accessible, and promote a sense of community and belonging;

  7. provide an environment that is orderly, comfortable, secure and safe;

  8. are designed for multiple groups at various hours and days of the week;

  9. promote and respond to core instructional programs;

  10. plan for full implementation of technology in support of learning;

  11. reflect the needs of community and business partnerships;

  12. are fiscally responsible/cost effective;

  13. include technical, mechanical, and electrical systems, which ensure operational economy;

  14. accommodate the end users of the facility: students, parents, faculty, community members, administrators and central office personnel;

  15. incorporate multi-functional grounds that are aesthetically appealing; and

  16. create opportunities to support and enhance interlocking disciplines through organization of space and technology.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, § 22.1-78.

Recodified: August 2000


REGULATION 4-3.3 Design Process

The Hanover County Public Schools implement a planning and design process that encompasses the philosophy of total community involvement. The design process starts with the selection of an architectural firm and the establishment of a Steering Committee and School Design Committee.

The design process starts with the selection of an architectural firm. Hanover County Public Schools initiates an open procurement process to select architectural firms on all projects as established by the Virginia Public Procurement Act.

The process continues with the establishment of a Steering Committee with the specific purpose of developing the goals, objectives, scope and overall footprint of the desired project. This committee also provides general guidance for the project in terms of compliance with the School Board’s long-term instructional goals. The Steering Committee usually has five to seven members with representation from the Construction and Planning Department, present on-site school administrators, central office staff and the architectural firm.

A School Design Committee is then organized with representatives of teachers, students, parents, and administrators from the proposed school area, appropriate central office personnel and the architectural firm. The purpose of this committee is to provide specific input regarding school planning, design, learning environment, function and operation.


Any educational program is influenced greatly by the environment within which it functions. The development of a quality educational program and school facilities which help to implement it must go hand in hand. The Hanover County School Board's goal is to provide facilities of the kind and size that will best support and accommodate the school division's educational program and the number of students enrolled. The School Board will constantly strive to provide new and remodeled facilities that will offer the best possible physical environment for learning and teaching.

The School Board aims specifically toward:

  1. New buildings and renovations that will accommodate and facilitate those new organizational and instructional patterns that support the division's educational philosophy and instructional goals.

  2. Meeting all safety requirements through the remodeling of older structures.

  3. Providing such building renovations as are needed to meet requirements on the availability of public school facilities to disabled persons.

  4. Building design and construction that will lend themselves to low maintenance costs and the conservation of energy. These two factors will also be given special consideration in the renovation of buildings.

  5. Decisions pertaining to educational specifications of new buildings and those undergoing extensive remodeling will be developed with the viewpoints of teachers, students, and the community considered.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-78, 22.1-79 (3), 22.1-253.13:6 (A); Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 42 U.S.C. § 504; Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101-12213.

Recodified: August 2000


To ensure that all new and remodeled Hanover County Public School facilities are designed to best implement the educational program, the division superintendent will provide for the development of detailed educational specifications to apply to the design and construction of new buildings. Educational specifications are detailed descriptions of:

  1. All the activities that will take place in the building;

  2. The curriculum to be housed in the building;

  3. Specific architectural characteristics desired; and

  4. The facilities needed, their equipment requirements and their space relationship to other facility elements.

When educational specifications are prepared, the educational philosophy of the school division must be incorporated as part of the document. Consultants may be used in the development of educational specifications when deemed necessary by the division superintendent and approved by the School Board. Final building plans must be finalized by the division superintendent and by a licensed architect or professional engineer, as required by applicable law.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-78, 22.1-138, 22.1-140.

Recodified: August 2000


The Hanover County School Board utilizes a general contractor pre-qualification procedure as authorized by Virginia Code § 11-46, and expressly approves Regulation 4-3.6 as its pre-qualification questionnaire to be used in all pre-qualifications. For each construction project for which the School Board pre-qualifies general contractors, the School Board shall provide information to all interested contractors detailing the pre-qualification information required and the timelines for providing such information. The division superintendent or his designee shall develop the appropriate pre-qualification application packet for such request.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950 as amended, § 11-46.

Recodified: August 2000




A Hanover County School Board construction representative shall be assigned to review and monitor all School Board construction projects. The construction representative’s duties shall include, but not be limited to:

  1. Daily project surveillance;

  2. The preparation of a daily construction diary outlining: the various disciplines of work being accomplished, weather conditions, numbers and types of mechanics on the job, materials delivered, delaying factors if any, estimated weekly percent of completion, interpretation of plans and specifications, and interface with the architect/engineer and the project contractor;

  3. Reporting any and all matters requiring contract action to the director of construction and planning;

  4. Reviewing all partial payments received from the general contractor;

  5. Upon substantial completion, coordinating punch list with architect/engineer for transmittal to contractor; and

  6. Reviewing final completion payment.

Assurance of this supervision, if required, will be furnished by the School Board to the state supervisor of school buildings prior to approval of plans and specifications for construction.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-138, 22.1-139, 22.1-140; Virginia State Department of Education, School Building Manual.

Recodified: August 2000



In selecting names for schools, the Hanover County School Board shall appoint a committee to suggest a single recommendation of an appropriate name for the School Board’s consideration. The School Board shall reserve the right to designate the official name of any school.

The Hanover County School Board shall solicit recommendations from the community for the naming of new schools. In reviewing recommendations, the following factors will be considered:

  • geographic location

  • environmental features

  • historical considerations

Effective with this policy’s implementation and for facilities yet unnamed, no school, school building, school room, track, gymnasium, stadium, media center or library, field, nor any other portion of the campus or facility on the campus shall be named for a person (living or deceased).

The School Board shall not sell naming rights of any school facility, campus, or program.

Commemorative/memorial items, such as trees, plaques, etc. will be considered for placement within a school building, courtyard, or elsewhere on the school’s campus upon approval by the School Board.

In all cases, the final decision for naming a school or school component shall be made by the School Board.


The School Board may have a public dedication ceremony following completion of major building projects.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, § 22.1-78.

Recodified: August 2000
Amended: July 10, 2007



Requests for the naming of schools and facilities are periodically recommended to the Hanover County School Board. The division superintendent, School Board, or a committee thereof will consider such recommendations in a systematic manner, using the following guidelines:

  1. The division superintendent or his designee shall solicit suggestions and/or recommendations from the community, including PTA's and/or PTO's.

  2. Requests shall be in writing with reasons for the recommendation included in the statement.

  3. Evidence of broad community support shall accompany the request.

  4. Suggestions coming from School Board members, Hanover County officials or the administration and staff shall follow the same procedure.

The School Board shall reserve to itself the right to designate the official name of any school or school building.


Certain Hanover County Public Schools buildings may become unsuitable for their present use, but may be used to benefit the school division or public in other ways. In determining when a facility is to be retired, the Hanover County School Board may consider the following factors, among others:

  1. The adaptability of the building for continued use for its present purpose;

  2. The suitability of the site of the building;

  3. The maintenance and upkeep of the building costs; and

  4. The historic value of the building to the community.

The School Board shall invite the viewpoints of community residents and staff in making its decision to retire a school building. If the School Board determines to close a facility, it will first consider other uses that the school division might make of the building prior to considering relinquishing possession of the building.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-135, 22.1-136.

Recodified: August 2000

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