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Developer donates land for elementary school in Jefferson County

January 09, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. ? If Jefferson County Schools officials are able to get funding together in the spring for a new elementary school along Job Corps Road, they hope the facility could be completed within 18 months, the president of the Jefferson County Board of Education said.

The path was cleared for the new school when the Jefferson County Planning Commission agreed Tuesday night to a request by B.C. Partners, developers of the Breckenridge subdivision, to give 15 acres of the subdivision site to the board of education for a new school.

Board of Education President Pete Dougherty has said previously that a developer was considering donating 15 acres of land in the central part of the county for a new elementary school.

At the time, Dougherty could not go into detail about the donation since the parties involved were still working out an agreement.

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The school site sits along Job Corps Road near the Breckenridge subdivision and Sam Michael's Park.

The planning commission had to approve the transfer of land for the school, said Jefferson County Commissioner Jim Surkamp, who also sits on the planning commission.

Although discussion during Tuesday night's planning commission meeting focused on issues such as water and sewer service in that area, the planning commission would have been "very foolish" not to allow the land to be transferred to the school system, Surkamp said.

Dougherty said Wednesday the new school is needed to accommodate growing residential development in Breckenridge, Halltown, Bakerton and other nearby areas, and to help relieve crowding in other elementary schools.

Dougherty said the school will cost about $10 million and would be paid for through local school impact fee funds and funding from the state School Building Authority.

Cost estimates are still being worked out, but school officials anticipate about $3.5 million for the school could be set aside from impact fees and the remainder would have to be requested from the school building authority, Dougherty said.

If the school system can get the funding it needs from the School Building Authority, the school, which would have a capacity of about 400 students, could be built and opened within 18 months, Dougherty said.

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