Expansion options shared

September 04, 1998|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County School officials were presented with three options Thursday night that were more expensive than expected to handle an expansion of Jefferson High School.

The first option is to reduce the size of a proposed new gym at the high school, officials said.

The second option calls for the new gym to be eliminated, but includes a smaller auxiliary gym.

The third possibility keeps the new gym and calls for refinancing of about $8 million worth of existing revenue bonds held by the Jefferson County Board of Education. It is estimated the refinancing will generate about $1.2 million, said board member Peter Dougherty.

The third plan calls for the board pitching in an extra $500,000, a figure Dougherty said is not enough to give the school what it needs.

The lowest bid given to the board for the high school's renovation was about $11.9 million, and it did not include improvements like an expanded cafeteria, two parking lots, a bus loop and library furnishings. Adding those items to the project would bring the cost to about $14 million.


The board only has about $11.1 million available for the project.

The state School Building Authority pitched in $10.6 million for the expansion. School Building Authority representative Bill Ratcliffe said his agency may be able to get more money for the project, but he did not discuss any firm figures.

The board will meet again at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the project. School officials have said they want to break ground on the high school this month.

School officials want to expand Jefferson High to allow the county's 600 ninth-graders to move into the building. Ninth-graders are being shifted into the school as part of a plan to move from a junior-high to a middle-school concept.

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