BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) – A plan to build a new school in one of the Tri-Cities is moving forward.

On Wednesday, the Bristol, Virginia Industrial Development Authority gave the okay to help fund the new school.

This would be the first new school that Bristol, Va. has seen in almost 50 years.

Superintendent Keith Perrigan said the plan would close Stonewall Jackson, Highland View and Washington Lee elementary schools and replace them with a school that will house second through fifth grades.

Students pre-k through first grade will be moved to Joseph Van Pelt Elementary under the current plan.

Perrigan also states that he anticipates Highland View Elementary, which was built in 1938, will be demolished.

The total cost of the plan is estimated to be $22 million, and Perrigan wants to use “Esser” funds, or Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds, totaling $2.5 million for the project.

There are 1,100 elementary students right now. The current plan would send 450 students to the new primary school at Joeseph Van Pelt and 650 students to the new school.

“We have a lot of work to do, we hope to have the financing back in early March, and then we’ll move dirt. You can count the months between March of 22 and August of 23, and that’s a really tight deadline. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, and a lot of organization that needs to be done, but our goal is to get the new school open in August of 20-23,” Perrigan stated.

As the plan stands now, the new school would have high school-sized gyms, science and STEM labs and a few extra classrooms in anticipation of the Casino’s arrival.

Take note, however, that this plan is not final. The IDA will still need to approve the documents before moving forward with the project.