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Jefferson schools seek $4 million

September 14, 2000

Jefferson schools seek $4 million



By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town


CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The executive director of the state School Building Authority said Wednesday night he likes Jefferson County's proposed school construction plan which would require $4 million from the authority.

After touring the county's schools earlier in the day and reviewing the proposed construction plan during a Jefferson County Board of Education meeting later Wednesday night, Clacy Williams said he was impressed with the proposal.

Williams would not say whether the school system will get the $4 million it needs from the authority, but he urged the Board of Education to be patient.

Williams said the School Building Authority usually has about $30 million a year to spend on school construction projects across the state, and it doesn't take long to distribute that among 55 counties, Williams said.

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"Don't get disappointed if it doesn't all show up at once," Williams said regarding the county's $4 million request.

"I think you've got to be patient. I'm very pleased with what I've seen today and the plan you have presented tonight," Williams said.

The $4 million request, part of a larger funding package being formulated by the board of education, will be used to pay for renovations at every junior high school and every elementary school in the county.

In addition to that request, Jefferson County voters will be asked to approve a $39 million bond issue on Sept. 23. If passed by the voters, the bond issue will be used to construct a new $31 million high school, $6 million in renovations to Jefferson High School and fund another $1.2 million to cover cost increases for a new middle school being built next to Jefferson High.

The School Building Authority told the Board of Education it must pass a bond issue before it will put its money into school construction projects, said Superintendent of Schools David Markoe.

The Board of Education could have put the $39 million bond issue on the November ballot, but board members were concerned the School Building Authority would reject a funding request if the board waited until November.

Board member Pete Dougherty said that when he spoke to School Building Authority members, they emphasized that the bond election should be held as soon as possible for the board to get consideration for the $4 million.

Some school board members want to begin a building program as soon as possible to prepare the county for expected population growth. Williams said he is sympathetic to the need.

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