Kermit Dance is running for re-election this year to the Manassas City School Board and recently told the News & Messenger he plans on continuing the fight for a new elementary school to replace Baldwin if re-elected.
Dance spoke of the importance for a new elementary school to replace the aging, "sub-standard" school at a recent Education Forward Committee meeting.
"There's one element that we are missing and that's upgrading the facilities," Dance said at the Dec. 10 Education Forward meeting. "It has a direct impact on achievement."
Dance said there are issues that currently exist in the school system that need to be fixed and highlights providing adequate facilities for students to learn in and teachers to teach in as one of them.
The materials in Baldwin's library are antiquated and need to be updated, he said.
Dance said when it rains it is very difficult to teach in Baldwin because the noise is so loud from the rain on the roof.
"The roof is the ceiling," he said. "There's no buffer between the sounds that come from the roof and the sounds that come into the classroom."
Kids have a hard time paying attention and teachers have to raise their voices because the noises are so deafening from the ventilation system when it kicks on and off pretty much year-round, Dance said.
"I calculated that approximately 45 percent of the amount of time that the kids are in the school is compromised because of the noise coming from the building," he said. "There's a direct correllation between achievement when a kid can't focus, can't do his assignements because of the noise."
Dance is an educator, who has both managed and taught in a school. He has outlined what he thinks needs to happen to get a new elementary school built for the community, but understands that it is up to the city council to approve the funding to do so.
There are four school board members whose seats are up for election in May: Arthur Bushnell, Scott Albrecht, Kermit Dance and R.J. (Jack) Magee, Jr.
Filing deadline to run for office of the school board is March 6. Candidates must meet certain qualifications and requirements in order to appear on the ballot in May.