The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Local News

December 4, 2013

Butcher: BOE to reconsider county CEFP

FAYETTEVILLE — Members of the Fayette County Board of Education said Monday they were going to be taking a big step backward.

The step backward won’t mess with progress, they say, and it gives the board a better picture of how the school system can be best served.

“December is the month when school districts submit major building projects to the School Building Authority,” Superintendent Keith Butcher said. “As previously shared with the board, Fayette County had planned to submit a needs project to the SBA and, since a local match of funding is required, we had planned to run a bond in May.

“I have decided not to submit a building project to the SBA and do not plan to run a bond in May of 2014. Instead, during the next six months, we will review and, if needed, revise the current Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan. The critical issue moving forward is how to improve education while reducing the number of high schools in Fayette County.”

Deciding not to submit a bond gives everyone some time to think about the impact of the CEFP.

“If we are to submit building projects in the next year that will have an effect on education in Fayette County for the next 30 years, then I believe it is important to take this time to review the CEFP,” Butcher said. “We’ll need to build support for a plan that will dramatically improve the education system.”

Board member Leon Ivey said he was glad the board was taking time to study all schools in the county, not just the one focused on in the amendment to the CEFP.

Also at the board meeting, a couple of parents said they worried about how the board plans to fit Gatewood students into Fayetteville Elementary School.

“More than a year ago my sister tried to enroll her three kids into Fayetteville Elementary,” Betty Miller said. “She was told she couldn’t because there was no room.”

According to the closure documents for Gatewood Elementary, the school has 108 students right now. By moving the sixth-graders out of Fayetteville Elementary and into Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville Elementary would have room for the Gatewood children.

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