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Old 02-15-2008, 10:53 AM
 
469 posts, read 599,929 times
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Default Roanoke: vinton vs. cave spring

OK, so next week we're heading down to Roanoke to check out neighborhoods in person. Anticipated move is this summer, kids will be heading into 8th & 9th grades then. We'll probably rent for a year before buying.

We have arranged to tour Cave Spring and William Byrd middle & high schools, and we're going to look at both apts and houses to rent.

We're also going to do as much walking around as possible, at the City Market, Mill Mountain Park, etc.

Questions ---

pros & cons to the two school districts we're looking in? the neighborhoods?

are there hiking trails in the parkland around the Blue Ridge Parkway? any trailheads accessible in the Vinton area?

anything else we should check out while we're there?

Thanks in advance for your opinions. =)
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Old 02-15-2008, 11:12 AM
j1n
 
Location: Southeast of the Northwest Territories
1,201 posts, read 2,832,757 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by headnsouth View Post
OK, so next week we're heading down to Roanoke to check out neighborhoods in person. Anticipated move is this summer, kids will be heading into 8th & 9th grades then. We'll probably rent for a year before buying.

We have arranged to tour Cave Spring and William Byrd middle & high schools, and we're going to look at both apts and houses to rent.

We're also going to do as much walking around as possible, at the City Market, Mill Mountain Park, etc.

Questions ---

pros & cons to the two school districts we're looking in? the neighborhoods?

are there hiking trails in the parkland around the Blue Ridge Parkway? any trailheads accessible in the Vinton area?

anything else we should check out while we're there?

Thanks in advance for your opinions. =)
If I could choose either, I'd definitely go with Cave Spring. Yes,there are hiking areas out of Vinton...Wolf Creek Greenway is one. And yes, I believe there is hiking accessible all over the BRP region.
One thing to look into and keep in mind....
We are currently in Franklin County, and have been looking into buying a house "closer in" to Roanoke. We have heard, more than once, that in Vinton you pay a double tax...one to the city of Roanoke and one to the city of Vinton. I'm not 100% sure on what this all entails, and actually would like to find out more myself. But something to watch.
Be sure to take the little 20-30 minute ride down to take a look around Franklin County. Good schools, low taxes, lots of "rural", still easily accessible to R-noke, and close to Smith Mountain Lake, if that's your thing.
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Old 02-15-2008, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Apex, NC
1,341 posts, read 4,351,791 times
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Tons of trails around Mill Mountain and the BRP and those are much more easily accessible from the Cave Spring district. Most locals will say Cave Spring is better than the Vinton school system. The only folks I know that live in Vinton send their kids to a private school near the Cave Spring area (North Cross). Vinton has some nice parts but to be honest it's overall a bit depressing to me when I drive through it.

Sean
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Old 02-18-2008, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Bedford County, Va.
261 posts, read 838,561 times
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Cave Spring is definitely the wealthier area, and from what people have told me, the schools in that district are the best public schools in the region. However, I'm also told you're in very good hands with a school like William Byrd, which is also well above average for this region (you're not going to go wrong with Roanoke County public schools....much better than any of the surrounding city or county school systems).

However, I like Vinton for it's small-town feel. The main street is quaint, and I sense that this area helps you feel more a part of a centralized community. I, like Sean, used to think that it was depressing driving through Vinton. I stand corrected because the part that I though was so depressing turned out to be the edges of Roanoke city, not part of Vinton.

Vinton will definitely land you in a nice working class, friendly Southerner atmosphere. Cave Spring, on the other hand, will be more white collar. I don't know many of its people, though the ones I have met are nice enough (sidebar: not a single one I've met is native to the region, though...they're all transplants).

Someone commented that you pay two sets of taxes in Vinton. I don't know at all if that is true, but if there is truth to it, I suspect it's taxes to the town of Vinton and Roanoke County (not R. city, as previously stated). That would make sense since towns fall under a sort of double jurisdiction. On the plus side, I've regularly seen both Roanoke County and Vinton town police on patrol there, so you do get double at least some services!
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Old 02-23-2008, 03:40 PM
 
469 posts, read 599,929 times
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Thanks for everyone's comments.

Unfortunately our action-packed first visit to Roanoke left us with more questions than answers. Vinton is out for us for several reasons, not least of which is the location of the schools (way out there) and the proximity to work for me (my work is one-client-at-a-time so I need to be centrally located WRT my client base).

So we're back to the central dilemma: urban lifestyle/quality-of-life (+) combined with city schools (-) ... versus suburban lifestyle/quality-of-life (-) combined with excellent schools (+).

Roanoke is a small city and the suburbs aren't terribly sprawl-ey. We looked at some neighborhoods (apts to begin with, then Penn Forest) that are within walking distance of shops and/or schools, there's public transport (the orange line of the bus service) running into the market square area, and much of my work will be near the hospital.

We saw Juno at the Grandin Theater the night we arrived, and we had lunch at the co-op the day we left. We walked around the market square area and happily ate falafels for lunch & talked with the volunteers at Center in the Square about the galleries & museums there. My son spent several hours at the skatepark at Wasena Park while I scouted around the Raleigh Court & surrounding neighborhoods. School quality is a huge factor for us though.

Still a lot to think about.
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:35 AM
 
Location: charleston
1,442 posts, read 2,569,623 times
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Default Private school??

If you want live in the city.. is private school out of the question? Most of the kids in my neighborhood go to private school (north cross) 6th grade-12th grade. Just a thought maybe its not in your budget? Did you check out South Roanoke city?

Quote:
Originally Posted by headnsouth View Post
Thanks for everyone's comments.

Unfortunately our action-packed first visit to Roanoke left us with more questions than answers. Vinton is out for us for several reasons, not least of which is the location of the schools (way out there) and the proximity to work for me (my work is one-client-at-a-time so I need to be centrally located WRT my client base).

So we're back to the central dilemma: urban lifestyle/quality-of-life (+) combined with city schools (-) ... versus suburban lifestyle/quality-of-life (-) combined with excellent schools (+).

Roanoke is a small city and the suburbs aren't terribly sprawl-ey. We looked at some neighborhoods (apts to begin with, then Penn Forest) that are within walking distance of shops and/or schools, there's public transport (the orange line of the bus service) running into the market square area, and much of my work will be near the hospital.

We saw Juno at the Grandin Theater the night we arrived, and we had lunch at the co-op the day we left. We walked around the market square area and happily ate falafels for lunch & talked with the volunteers at Center in the Square about the galleries & museums there. My son spent several hours at the skatepark at Wasena Park while I scouted around the Raleigh Court & surrounding neighborhoods. School quality is a huge factor for us though.

Still a lot to think about.
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Old 02-24-2008, 12:14 PM
 
469 posts, read 599,929 times
Reputation: 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teebyrd86 View Post
If you want live in the city.. is private school out of the question? Most of the kids in my neighborhood go to private school (north cross) 6th grade-12th grade. Just a thought maybe its not in your budget? Did you check out South Roanoke city?
I looked into and spoke with North Cross. It's not the environment we're looking for for our children.

For us, city=Patrick Henry HS, suburbs=Cave Spring.

It's pretty much an internal dilemma at this point, trying to balance everyone's individual needs ... not to mention a double-dose of adolescent angst attached to moving at all!
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Old 02-24-2008, 01:47 PM
 
Location: charleston
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I can understand your kids having a hard time moving from their friends ect. I think their feelings will most likely change after they begin incorperating their new lives in with new friends. I am 21 and moved here a year ago so I dont know too much about the area schools. I do know Cave Spring is a highly talked up school. I have visted both Patrick Henry and Cave Spring for yardsales last summer. Patrick Henry has been renovated and is very nice in appearence whereas Cave Spring is older and less appealing. I hear that Patrick Henry has a very diverse group of students who come from all walks of life (rich to poor) where as Cave Spring is morso all upper middle class and I have to say I attended a school similar in demographics to Patrick Henry and actually enjoyed it. Diversity is a good thing these days. I hope you make the move to the Roanoke Valley I dont think either you or your family will regret it. I know what your going through juggleing urban and surburan lifestyles and trying to figure out which is best for you. I honestly love living in the Soro city (convience!!). Good luck to you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by headnsouth View Post
I looked into and spoke with North Cross. It's not the environment we're looking for for our children.

For us, city=Patrick Henry HS, suburbs=Cave Spring.

It's pretty much an internal dilemma at this point, trying to balance everyone's individual needs ... not to mention a double-dose of adolescent angst attached to moving at all!
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