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School funding panel grills Fayette superintendent

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Fayette County Superintendent Terry George answered questions about building conditions, bus rides, community involvement and funding for more than an hour before the School Building Authority Tuesday.

Despite Midland Trail, Fayetteville and Oak Hill high schools as well as several elementary schools slated for closure under the plan, authority members’ questions centered only around consolidation concerns for the Meadow Bridge community.

 The plan would build a consolidated school in Oak Hill and create K-8 community schools. The Valley district schools would remain unchanged.

During his presentation, George showed pictures of cracked exterior brick at Meadow Bridge and Collins Middle as well as the steel beams inside the condemned Collins gym.

To fund the $56.5 million, 1,550-students consolidated high school, he anticipates the county will provide $6 million in cash funds and $11 million in a lease-purchase agreement. The county seeks $39.5 million from the School Building Authority (SBA) over three years.

That seems like a lot of money, said George, but the plan “corrects a tremendous number of facility issues in Fayette County by building one facility.”

Discussing bus rides for Meadow Bridge students, George said there are 96 students in grades 9-12 at Meadow Bridge High, and a majority of juniors and seniors already travel to Oak Hill to attend the Fayette Institute of Technology.

Responding to board questions, George said the longest bus ride for those students would be 80 minutes…


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