Voters resoundingly reject school bond call

Editor’s note: The vote count from the Selbyville polling station is not included due to a technical error. Information in this story will be updated as it is received.

BUCKHANNON – A new comprehensive career-and-technical high school won’t be constructed after all, and middle-schoolers in Upshur County will remain where they are after voters decisively rejected the bond call proposal.

Upshur County Schools’ Vision for the Future proposal suffered a resounding loss Saturday night, following the 7:30 p.m. closure of polls in Saturday’s special election.

With 20 of 21 voting precincts reporting, 3,390 registered voters voted against the bond call proposal, while 764 voted for the proposal. Votes tallied at Precinct 7, the Selbyville Fire Department, are not included in this total due to a technical error.

The bond call proposal required a simple majority voting in favor of it to pass.

Had it been approved by voters, the school bond proposal would have provided funding to construct a brand-new comprehensive career-and-technical high school and remodel Buckhannon-Upshur High School to transform it into a ‘reimagined’ middle school. The ailing Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School building would have been closed.

The renovations to the current high school to turn it into a renovated middle school were expected to cost about $8 million while the largest portion – roughly $62 million – would have supplied funding to construct the proposed CTE high school.

The total project cost amounted to approximately $70 million, with about $49.4 million coming from the issuance of bonds. If the bond had passed, the School Building Authority of West Virginia had indicated that it would have likely provided the remaining one-third, or about $21 million, in funding.

Issued for 15 years, the bond would have accumulated up to 4.5 percent annually, but Upshur County Schools officials said the interest rate would likely be markedly lower due to market trends and historically low interest rates.

A peek inside the Upshur County Courthouse Saturday night, as precincts coming rolling in. / Photo by Beth Christian Broschart

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