Ashland Elementary School

Ashland Elementary School

JGES Clear Rendering

Hanover County Public Schools is proud to be constructing an 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 school building, located on the current John M. Gandy site in Ashland, will be the first 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.”

Live Stream

Members of the public are encouraged to watch the progress of the construction of the school by watching the construction live stream on TrueLook. The live stream is available 24/7 and will continue for the duration of this exciting project.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Hanover County Public Schools will host a ribbon cutting ceremony for Ashland Elementary School on Monday, July 29 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.! The special 10 a.m. ceremony that will include school and county leaders, students, and other distinguished guests will be followed by guided tours of the new school. The ceremony will be held outside the new building and guided tours inside will follow the ceremony. Families and local community members are welcome to attend.

Learn more about the ribbon cutting ceremony here.

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.
  • July 2022: The School Board receives an update on the design of the school, including the finalized renderings of both the inside and outside of the new school. 
  • December 2022: Southwood Builders, an Ashland-based construction company, awarded contract as the general contractor for the project.
  • December 2022: Groundbreaking ceremony held on the school site.
  • January 2023: Construction begins as all permits finalized, site cleared, and fencing installed around the perimeter of the construction site.
  • February 2023: Preliminary design work begins for underground power installation, site work continues, and all debris is removed from the construction site.
  • March 2023: The School Board appoints the 2023 Elementary School Naming Committee in accordance with School Board Policy 4-3.8 and welcomes public input on the name of the school.
  • April 2023: The 2023 Elementary School Naming Committee recommends Berkleytown Elementary School as the name for the consolidated elementary school.
  • April 2023: Foundation work proceeds as construction crew prepares for the first pour of concrete. The building pad for the new building is fully on grade.
  • May 2023: The School Board approves Ashland Elementary School as the name for the consolidated elementary school.
  • May 2023: First concrete is poured as construction moves forward. All overhead power lines have been removed and several door frames have been installed.
  • June 2023: Construction live stream is made available to members of the public as project moves forward.
  • July 2023: Project remains on schedule as the concrete slab poor for the west classroom wing is complete and the center classroom wing foundation nears completion.
  • August 2023: Concrete is poured for the second floor in the fourth/fifth grade wing of the school, the gym, and additional classroom wings. The parking lot for current staff at John M. Gandy Elementary School, which will be the bus loop for the new school, is completed.
  • October 2023: The roof over the mechanical room, kitchen, and cafeteria is completed as construction crews continue to make progress on gym roof.
  • November 2023: Project remains on schedule as roofing, masonry, framing, and more continue. Students and staff at Henry Clay Elementary School and John M. Gandy Elementary School -- the two schools that are consolidating to form Ashland Elementary -- also signed one of the beams that will be installed in the new home of the Tigers.
  • December 2023: Construction remains on schedule. Students from The Hanover Center for Trades and Technology visit the construction site to observe, ask questions, and see their trade in action.
  • January 2024: Two sets of stairs are completed and exterior brick work continues as project remains on schedule.
  • February 2024: The roof is near completion over the school's media center and administration building, and the final steel is being installed on the second floor of the school's main corridor. Additionally, the cafeteria, kitchen, and third and fifth grade classroom wings are being painted.
  • March 2024: Utility connections for water, natural gas, and electricity are imminent, and roofing and steel work near completion. Interior painting of the school has commenced.
  • April 2024: Permanent power and water has been connected to the building. Primary construction work is focused on HVAC, interior finishes, and site work.
  • May 2024: Final construction work continues as school approaches 2024-25 school year opening.
  • June 2024: Finishing touches continue to be made to school site and interior as school prepares for 2024-25 school year opening; date for ribbon cutting (July 29) announced.


JGES Clear RenderingAt the July 12, 2022 School Board meeting, Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates updated the Board on the design of the school, including the finalized renderings of both the inside and outside of the new school as well as the site plan. This document contains the renderings and site plan.


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

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