HODGESVILLE – Upshur County Board of Education members voted unanimously this week to approve a resolution supporting the upcoming school bond initiative that will provide funds to build a new comprehensive career and technical high school for county students. The current Buckhannon-Upshur High School facility would then be transformed into a career and technical capable middle school.
The motion to accept the resolution was made by BOE member Dr. Greenbrier Almond and seconded by Kristi Wilkerson. School board members voted unanimously to approve the resolution, although vice president Katie Loudin was not in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting.
The bond initiative would provide funds in the amount of $70 million, with $62 million being dedicated to the new high school and $8 million to the reimagined middle school renovations. Of that funding, $21 million has been requested from the W.Va. School Building Authority and $49 million would come from the Upshur County Bond Initiative.
The total bonding capacity for Upshur County is a little more than $58 million, so the bond initiative of $49 million represents approximately 75 to 80 percent of the total capacity that could be used. Currently Buckhannon-Upshur High School has 102,000 square feet of space, and Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School has 170,000 square feet. The proposed new high school would be approximately 210,000 square feet.
Almond read the resolution before BOE members present at the meeting signed the proclamation. Members Wilkerson and Pat Long attended the meeting virtually and will officially sign the resolution in the future, along with Loudin.
The resolution states:
WHEREAS, the mission of the Upshur County Schools is to provide academic preparation; social responsibility; employability; and a desire of lifelong learning, and;
WHEREAS, the goal of the Upshur County School system is to provide a quality education through a safe, student-centered learning environment in a respectful, caring atmosphere, and;
WHEREAS, it is the task of the Upshur County School system to prepare college and/or career ready graduates, and:
WHEREAS, based on community input and completion of the Upshur County Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan (CEFP), the need for a comprehensive career and technical high school and middle school were identified, and;
WHEREAS, based on projected architectural costs of the proposed comprehensive career and technical high school and; the proposed renovation costs to the current high school to create the reimagined middle school, Upshur County Schools will be holding a bond election on January 15, 2022, to seek $49 million dollars to support the above, and:
WHEREAS, as elected officials of the Upshur County Board of Education in support of providing schools our children deserve and in commitment to supporting the mission of Upshur County Schools, we the undersigned fully support passage of the bond election to support the construction of a new comprehensive career and technical high school and renovation of our current high school to become the reimagined middle school.
Upshur County Schools have been conducting information meetings for folks who have questions or suggestions for the new schools. Upcoming meeting are scheduled from 5-6 p.m. at:
- Oct. 12 – French Creek Elementary School
- Oct. 26 – Washington District Elementary School
- Nov. 16 – Buckhannon-Upshur High School
- Nov. 30 – Buckhannon Academy Elementary School
- Dec. 14 – Union Elementary School