By November 9, 2016 Read More →

Wood County voters OK $41M school bond issue

Parkersburg News and Sentinel photo by Jeff Baughan Wood County Schools Assistant Superintendent Mike Fling, left, Wood County Board of Education President Lawrence Hasbargen, center, and Superintendent John Flint, right, stand at the Wood County Court House Tuesday evening watching the results of the election. Voters approved a $41 million bond call which will be used to help fund $51 million in school construction, renovation and improvements.

Parkersburg News and Sentinel photo by Jeff Baughan
Wood County Schools Assistant Superintendent Mike Fling, left, Wood County Board of Education President Lawrence Hasbargen, center, and Superintendent John Flint, right, stand at the Wood County Court House Tuesday evening watching the results of the election. Voters approved a $41 million bond call which will be used to help fund $51 million in school construction, renovation and improvements.

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Despite heavy opposition at times, Wood County Schools’ $41 million bond call passed Tuesday by a respectable margin.

With 69 of 69 precincts reporting in, school bond was approved with 20,103 votes, or 58.67 percent in Tuesday’s unofficial results. The bond received 14,161 votes against, or 41.33 percent.

Superintendent John Flint said he was overjoyed

“This is a victory for 13,000 kids,” he said. “This is a vote of confidence for all the principals, teachers, service personnel and the parents and students themselves.”

The bond will be used to do $51 million in facilities construction, renovations and improvements over the next three years. The plans include a new Williamstown-area elementary school which will combine Williamstown Elementary and Waverly Elementary schools, expansion of Williamstown High School to include sixth-grade students and become a true middle/high school, renovation and expansion of the Wood County Technical Center on the campus of Parkersburg South High School, and roof replacements for nearly two dozen facilities throughout the county.

The plan calls for an additional $10 million in funding from the state School Building Authority.

Assistant Superintendent Mike Fling, who oversees facilities for Wood County Schools and has been lead administrator on the bond project, said he was excited to have the opportunity to improve facilities for students throughout the district.

“I’m just thrilled the county has supported the plan and we are moving forward for the students of Wood County Schools,” he said.

The centerpiece of the bond call was the construction of a new Williamstown-area elementary school. Principal Heather Bretthauer said committee members have been working for six years to secure a new elementary school for the north Wood County community.

“I am so happy for our community and for the students of the Williamstown area that they will have a wonderful place to go to school,” she said.

Bretthauer also pointed to plans to expand the Wood County Technical Center, which serves students throughout Wood County and which in recent years has been forced to annually turn away about 250 students due to space restrictions.

“I think this is a major win for all of Wood County,” she said.

Officials today will present the results of the bond call and the facilities plan to the West Virginia Board of Education in Charleston and next week will present to the state School Building Authority seeking $10 million for the Williamstown-area school project.

“That’ll be the next step,” Flint said. “We look forward to that, look forward to representing Wood County Schools.”

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