BRISTOL, Va. — Bristol Virginia City Council voted 3-2 at its Tuesday meeting to approve the city School Board’s plans to build a consolidated school next to Van Pelt Elementary School.

The approval came after a heated discussion that lasted more than an hour and after a motion to let voters decide in a referendum failed to gain the super-majority vote needed.

The school, which has been discussed for years and was rejected in November 2018 in a 3-2 vote by City Council, is estimated to cost about $18.5 million, according to school Superintendent Keith Perrigan.

Tuesday’s vote will allow the School Board to enter into a comprehensive agreement to complete architectural plans and move into a construction phase, the superintendent said after Tuesday’s meeting.

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