The Fairfax County School Board voted last night to spend $817,000 on renovations, new athletic uniforms and other expenses stemming from the merger of Fort Hunt and Groveton high schools.
The expenditure was included in revenue and spending adjustments to the county's $531.2 million education budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
The budget shows that the county will save $521,000 by mergers and closings. That is less than the $733,000 figure given the board by its staff last week because of additional expenses calculated since then.
The board voted in March to close Fort Hunt High and send its students to Groveton, which will be renamed West Potomac High School. It also voted to close Bryant and Whitman intermediate schools. Fort Hunt will become an intermediate school named after the poet Carl Sandburg.
Closing Fort Hunt will save just over $1 million. The board voted to spend $582,000 on renovations at Groveton, including new laboratories, classrooms, locker and cafeteria space. The other expenditures will include $128,000 on athletic, band and drill team uniforms for the new school -- expenses normally paid by community fund drives.
Other provisions of the budget adjustments include: A 14.3 percent raise for bus drivers to alleviate a shortage and bring wages up to those in the rest of the region, and a three-year plan to give all elementary school principals 12-month contracts.
In other action, the board named Herman A. Howard, one of four area superintendents, to be one of two deputy superintendents of the system, 10th largest in the nation.
Howard, 52, will replace Donald Lacey, who retires next month, as deputy superintendent for instruction. Two years ago, Howard was a focus of controversy when Superintendent William J. Burkholder decided not to fill the second deputy superintendent's job, for which Howard was a prime candidate.
Howard, who is black, was the choice of the NAACP for that job, which involves supervision of support services. Some of his supporters alleged discrimination was involved in the county's failure to fill the job. The School Board is expected to fill that position soon.
Since 1981, Howard has been superintendent of Area III, which includes the Vienna, McLean and Herndon sections of the county.