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Jefferson Co. to hear redistricting plan

September 26, 2007|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The Jefferson County Board of Education is expected to be presented with a plan Thursday night on how the county's high school students will be split into two high schools now that a second high school is being built.

The new Washington High School is an approximately $40 million facility being built off the Charles Town Bypass south of downtown.

The high school is aimed at serving a growing student population, and the facility is expected to be ready for use in the fall of next year.

At a board of education meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. at the central office on Mordington Avenue, Superintendent of Schools Susan Wall is expected to present board members with a plan of how the county's high school population will be split between Washington High School and Jefferson High School.

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Board of Education President Pete Dougherty declined Tuesday to get into specifics of the plan before it is presented, but he said the county's high school population basically is proposed to be split down the middle, with students from Charles Town attending Washington High School and students from Ranson going to Jefferson High School.

There also will be a redistricting plan for the county's middle schools since the Ninth Grade Center next to Jefferson High School will turn into Wildwood Middle School, Dougherty said.

T.A. Lowery Elementary School currently sends its students to three middle schools, but under Wall's proposal, T.A. Lowery's students would go to Wildwood Middle School, Dougherty said.

If approved, the redistricting plan would go into effect in the fall of 2008.

Wall said Tuesday the redistricting plan has a number of objectives, such as keeping students in developments going to the same schools.

After Thursday's meeting, the board of education is planning to hold a public meeting on the plan Oct. 4 at Wright Denny Elementary School on West Congress Street.

At that meeting, the public will be able to comment on the plan, school officials said.

The board of education could vote on the plan Oct. 11, Dougherty said.

Jefferson High School is being renovated, and construction is ongoing at Washington High School.

Members of the state School Building Authority were invited to tour the new high school Monday, and they got a glimpse of how facilities including a media center, gymnasium, auditorium, science labs and classrooms are taking shape.

Washington High School has hallways that are up to 18 feet wide, which is "fantastic," said Russ Fitzgerald, supervisor of construction management for the project.

Crowded conditions have been an ongoing issue at Jefferson High School, where hallways are about 12 feet wide, school officials said.

Mark Manchin, executive director of the School Building Authority, said he liked the design of the school.

"It's very functional, and it's obviously being designed with students in mind," Manchin said.




Public meeting



The Jefferson County Board of Education is expected to be presented with a plan Thursday night on how the county's high school students will be split between Jefferson High School and the new Washington High School being built south of downtown Charles Town. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the central office at 110 Mordington Ave. in Charles Town.

On Oct. 4, the board of education plans to hold a public meeting on the plan at 7 p.m. at Wright Denny Elementary School at 209 W. Congress St.

The board of education might vote on the plan Oct. 11.

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