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Classrooms in demand

March 17, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A total of 113 classrooms at varying grade levels will have to be built within six years to serve Jefferson County Schools' growing student population, school officials say.

The 113 classrooms include 35 high school classrooms, 54 elementary classrooms and 24 middle school classrooms, said Jeff Bresee, who has been working on a capital improvements plan for Jefferson County Schools.

School officials said it is unclear how many schools will be needed to supply the 113 classrooms.

The plan is to pay for the extra classrooms through revenues collected by impact fees, which are fees collected from housing developers to help pay for increased services caused by population growth.

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On Thursday, Bresee reviewed the classroom numbers with the Jefferson County Commission, which would have to implement any impact fees in the county.

School officials are expected to appear before the commission again this week to inform them about how much they believe it will cost for every new school seat in the county, Commissioner Greg Corliss said.

Those figures will be turned over to Tischler and Associates, a Bethesda, Md., firm hired by the county to develop an impact fee system for the county, Corliss said.

Corliss said he expects the county to have impact fees for schools, parks and recreation, and emergency services.

Corliss, who believes there is enough support on the commission to pass impact fees, believes a vote on the issue could come in July or August.

In counties where impact fees are charged, a fee typically is collected for each house that is built.

To determine how much the fees should be, Tischler and Associates will examine the operating costs of public services, including schools, local police departments, fire departments, parks and other public facilities, county officials have said.

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