It's in Virginia's budget: $8 million for the Apprentice School
Editor's note: This is part of an everyday series exploring individual line items in state and local budgets.
The new Apprentice School is open in downtown Newport News, and Virignia taxpayers are kicking in their share.
That's slated to run a little more than $8 million next year, and $7.6 million the year after that.
All together the state agreed to put in about $32 million over several years to pay off construction costs and interest, according to Florence G. Kingston, Newport News' director of economic development. The main developer, Armada Hoffler, paid for that part of the project up front, while the city of Newport News bought the land and built a parking deck.
It was a good deal for the city and the state, Kingston said. Not only are nearby apartments open she said about 70 of the nearly 200 units are leased the $70-million-plus project was tied to much bigger investments at the shipyard itself.
To get the state money, the shipyard had to create at least 1,000 new jobs and sink $300 million into its operations, she said.
This is all part of the latest, greatest effort to remake downtown Newport News. The school which has been there for more than 90 years, but never had such nice digs is one of the key pieces.
Inside those walls this region renews its commitment to the shipbuilding industry, one graduate at a time. It's part of the reason Virginia leads the nation in shipyard jobs, with more than 63,000 of them, according to figures released earlier this year by the American Maritime Partnership and Shipbuilders Council of America.
No. 2? California. With 37,000. All told this industry pumps more than $5.5 billion into Virginia's economy each year, the groups reported.
As for the Apprentice School, the state is well on its way to paying its share. Kingston said it has already made two payments of about $5 million each. The next $8 million will come after July 1, the start of a new state fiscal year.