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Groundbreaking held for new Jefferson school

August 10, 2000|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

Groundbreaking held for new Jefferson school



CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Three boys stuck shovels in the dirt Thursday at a groundbreaking ceremony for a new $8.6 million Jefferson County school.

John Pugh, 12; Kyle Culp, 12; and C.J. McNutt, 13, will probably be part of the first class at the school, which will be across Shenandoah Junction Road from Jefferson High School.

The boys are entering seventh grade - John at Shepherdstown Junior High, Kyle at Harpers Ferry Junior High and C.J. at Charles Town Junior High. They will be ninth-graders at the new school when it is scheduled to open in two years.

Jefferson County Superintendent David Markoe said the new 84,000-square-foot school will be a ninth-grade center for about 500 students at the start.

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But it will become a middle school for 400 to 500 students in grades six to eight the following year, when a new high school is expected to open and take in ninth graders.

Plans for the high school are still being determined, but Markoe said it will have 191,000 square feet and be able to accommodate 1,200 students.

Markoe said the district is looking closely at two sites near each other. One parcel is about 75 acres and might be donated to the district, Markoe said. The other parcel is about 50 acres.

A third site is being considered as a back-up.

The high school project is part of a $39.2 million bond package that will be presented to Jefferson County voters on Sept. 23. The breakdown is $32 million to build a new high school, $6 million for renovations at the current high school and $1.2 million to help build the new middle school.

Markoe said the $1.2 million from the bond will be added to $7.4 million already approved by the state's School Building Authority. If the bond is defeated, the district would work to make up the $1.2 million from other areas, since construction will already be underway, he said.

Markoe said the middle school was placed near the existing high school so that certain classes could be open to both groups of students.

The two new schools will serve current students and an anticipated wave of new ones. "We know with a great deal of certainty we're going to get hit with a big bubble of growth," Markoe said.

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