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Start of school delayed at Jefferson High School

August 18, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. - Jefferson High School students will get a few extra days to work on their tans and finish all of their back-to-school shopping because they won't start classes until Aug. 31, school officials said Thursday.

The majority of students in Jefferson County (W.Va.) Schools will return to class Aug. 28, but Jefferson High School students will not go back until Aug. 31 because renovations at the school are running behind, school officials said Thursday.

The high school cannot be opened along with the rest of the schools because there have been delays in getting materials for the renovation, such as windows and doors, said Gail Woods, spokeswoman for the school system.

Part of the reason for the delay is to allow custodians to clean up where the work has been under way, Woods said.

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School officials had hoped that certain stages of the renovation would have been completed by the start of school, Woods said.

The school's new media center, the site of the library and a computer lab, is not complete, Woods said. It might be October before the media center is completed, Woods said.

Although students will not have a library immediately, students can do research at three other computer labs, Woods said.

It was hoped that a new band room would have been completed by the opening of school, but it may also be October before that is completed, Woods said.

The band room for now will be operated in a portable classroom, Woods said.

"It will be inconvenient for a while, but I think it will work out," Woods said of the situation.

The improvements are part of a $15.3 million renovation of the school along Flowing Springs Road.

There has been much concern over the years about how to position the school system for expected student population growth, and much of the concern often has been focused on Jefferson High School.

In recent years, problems started to surface at the school such as deteriorating wooden doors and torn and broken seats in the auditorium. The school opened with 900 students, and it has been serving about 1,600 students.

The renovations also are being completed to make the school equal to a new second high school that is being planned next to the Huntfield development along U.S. 340 south of Charles Town.

The renovations at Jefferson High School are expected to be completed by August 2007.

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