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School land deal considered in Jefferson Co.

June 18, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A land proffer to the Jefferson County Board of Education comes with one string attached. Only an elementary school can be built on the 15-acre site next to the Breckenridge North subdivision, Jerry Connelly told board members Tuesday night.

After Connelly addressed board members and showed them a color drawing of what the site could look like, the board voted 4-0 to have its attorney and the developer's attorney meet to work out an agreement.

Connelly is the vice president of Clarksburg, Md.-based B.C. Partners Inc., which is an affiliate of Pleasants Development Inc.

Connelly initially said he had planned to ask that any assessed impact fees be reimbursed in return for donating the land, but he said he no longer plans to pursue that.

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The school would be built off Job Corps Road and front an access road. If built, Connelly requested that developers be able to use that access road.

Connelly said his firm will completely engineer the site for the school system and do an environmental study. Any problems that arise will be fixed, he said.

The school is proposed for the site sometimes known as the old Walker dairy farm.

Using a school built in New Market, Md., as a model, Connelly showed board members one that featured a landscaped front parking lot and a separate spot for parents to drop off their children.

An area for buses also was incorporated, but board member Delores Milstead asked that enough sidewalks and trails be in place to cut back on the number of buses needed. An 8-foot trail, which is being planned, would connect all of Breckenridge to the school, Connelly said.

The development consists of three separate areas. Around 150 homes have been built in the original Breckenridge, with approval obtained for a total of 292, Connelly said.

In Breckenridge North, which is along Job Corps Road, 44 homes were approved. All have been sold, but some still are under construction, Connelly told the board.

More than 600 homes are planned for Breckenridge East, a development planned to be built along Country Club Road.

Available homes in the development start at $200,000, Connelly said after his presentation.

Breckenridge is the second development to donate land to the school board. Developers of the Huntfield development south of Charles Town recently donated 57 acres for a second high school.

Officials say nearly every school in Jefferson County is overcrowded and they have been working on an impact fee system to pay for the facilities needed to serve the expected student population in coming years.

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