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Dunlop tells faculty no decision made on college

March 08, 2000|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Shepherd College's president sent a letter to the school's faculty Tuesday to assure them the college has not entered into an agreement with the City of Martinsburg about the relocation of the Community and Technical College.

David L. Dunlop said newspaper stories last weekend caused many people to be concerned about the future of Shepherd's Community and Technical College.

Although the stories "would lead any reasonable person to contrary conclusions," there has been no partnership agreement reached between the college and the city of Martinsburg, Dunlop said in the letter.

"Although we have previously articulated our desire to provide more services directly in Martinsburg, there still has not been a final resolution of whether such an expansion of operations is financially feasible," the letter states.

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Martinsburg Mayor Earnest L. Sparks agreed there has been no formal agreement made between the city and the college. Sparks said a resolution the Martinsburg City Council passed Saturday was meant only to demonstrate that the city is willing to work with the college on finding a location for the Community and Technical College in Martinsburg.

City leaders and Berkeley County business executives have stressed the need for a community college in the Martinsburg area to offer worker training.

A bill is making its way through the state House of Delegates that would allow the Community and Technical College to be moved to Berkeley County. But it is a complex piece of legislation, and Eastern Panhandle lawmakers said it is premature to begin discussing where the community college could be placed.

Additionally, the bill would set up a new board of governors at Shepherd, and they would determine the school's location, said Sen. John Unger, D-Berkeley.

Sparks said he is not trying to force the issue, but he believes the Dunn building at the Blue Ridge Outlet complex would be an ideal location for the community college. The outlet center has gone from housing more than 50 stores and restaurants to just two.

Sparks said he thinks the Martinsburg City Council would be willing to help finance the project, perhaps by setting aside money for a lease on the Dunn building.

"But none of that has ever been hammered out," Sparks said.

Dunlop was on his way back to Shepherdstown from Charleston Tuesday and could not be reached for comment.

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