Election for school bond in Wayne County set for May 2014 primary
KENOVA — In addition to a school restructuring, Wayne County Schools Superintendent Lynn Hurt on Tuesday announced a proposal for a bond election during the May 2014 primary.
Wayne administrators will recommend to the board that it ask voters to approve a $16.2 million measure to match $6 million in general funds from the county and another $16.2 million from the West Virginia School Building Authority.
The bond measure would be completely separate from the excess levy election set for Saturday, Nov. 23, said Hurt.
If passed, the bond measure would provide enough funding to build a new Ceredo-Kenova elementary school on the former C-K High School site and a Pre-K to-eighth grade facility in Crum on the site where the elementary and middle schools currently stand.
The bond also would provide the funding to remove modular classrooms from Wayne High School’s Campus and make renovations to the school’s entrance that would increase student safety there, said Hurt.
Following the December 2012 defeat of another bond measure, Hurt said school officials had taken a lot of time to re-evaluate their priorities and how they can improve their relationship in their community.
“That bond election taught us a lot about our residents, and we’ve listened, or tried to listen, to what they told us,” said Hurt. “One: They don’t want turf. Neither do we. More importantly, the message we heard from them, and continue to hear, is that they are willing to support the things we need.”
School officials are working on a plan to present to the SBA that will ask for the matching $16.2 million, pending the approval of the new bond. The $6 million from the school board would be provided over the next four years.
If the bond election is held but doesn’t pass, Hurt said schools officials will submit a new plan to the SBA to still receive $16.2 million, but, without the money from the bond measure, that would only provide enough money to construct one school.
“What it comes down to is that we have been told by the SBA that they will only fund one school and that we need to provide local funds,” said Hurt. "Personally, I can’t look at the students, the faculty and the communities at these schools and tell them that one of them is getting a new school and the other one isn’t.”
Hurt said more information will be available during the community meetings that are set for next week.
The plan to disperse and rehouse students at Ceredo and Kenova elementary schools and Ceredo-Kenova Middle School, if approved by the school board, would not be affected by the passage or rejection of the levy or the bond.
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