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Huntfield eyed as possible site for second high school

April 12, 2002|BY DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN W.Va. - Jefferson County Schools officials are considering building a second high school on land where the proposed Huntfield subdivision would be located, Schools Superintendent Jud Romine said Thursday.

Greenvest, L.C., the Vienna, Va., firm that will develop Huntfield, has offered the school system 60 acres for a school, Romine told the Jefferson County Commissioners Thursday.

Huntfield, which is expected to include 3,300 homes, would be built on 1,000 acres south of Charles Town along old U.S. 340. The 60 acres for the school would be located along Huyett Road, which turns off U.S. 340, said Romine.

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Greenvest officials and the Jefferson County Board of Education are in the process of working out language that would allow for the transfer of the land to the school system, said Romine.

Romine said Greenvest has construction equipment at the site for land preparation.

"It's not a question of them coming or not. It's there," said Romine.

Romine appeared before the commissioners to request a letter of support from them regarding a funding request for a second high school.

To help fund the $30 million high school, the School Board plans to request $16 million from the Economic Development Grant Council, a newly formed state organization that was set up to distribute about $200 million for economic development projects in the state.

Although projects including a downtown revitalization for Wheeling, W.Va., and a minor league baseball facility in Charleston, W.Va., are being considered for some of the money, state officials have stressed that school systems can also apply for the money.

"Being in the Eastern Panhandle where there's so much going on, I think it's a legitimate request," said Romine.

The commissioners agreed to send a letter of support along with the School Board's application for the $16 million.

Romine said School Board members do not want to request the entire $30 million from the Economic Development Grant Council because they do not feel they could get that much.

If the board receives the money, plans are to go before the state School Building Authority in November for more money, said Romine.

School Board members will try to get as much as they can from the Economic Development Grant Council and the School Building Authority to relieve any burden on taxpayers.

If there are any outstanding costs after the funding requests from the two state funding boards, the board probably will go before the voters in the fall of next year for approval of a bond issue, Board member Pete Dougherty has said.

Although grant requests to the Economic Development Grant Council are not due until July 1, the School Board wants to get theirs in by the end of this month, said Romine.

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