Residents gathered at Tygarts Valley High School Thursday to hear details of a bond proposal the Randolph County Board of Education is seeking on the November ballot.
Dr. James Phares, superintendent of Randolph County Schools, told those attending Thursday that the $13 million bond proposal would provide money toward repairs and improvements at Beverly Elementary, Homestead Elementary, Harman Elementary/High, Coalton Elementary, Tygarts Valley Middle/High and Elkins High schools.
"This board believes in the community schools," Phares said. "They want to keep these schools open."
The total amount for the bond is $13,418,527. In addition, the School Building Authority is offering funding that can be used for specific schools. The SBA funds total $9,222,838 and are contingent upon passage of the bond.
Money from the SBA would cover interior and exterior renovations and an entirely new gymnasium at Tygarts Valley.
"The centerpiece of this is the new Tygarts Valley High School gymnasium," Phares said. A new parking lot will be added behind the new gym, as well.
Exterior renovations would include the replacement of windows, doors and door frames. Some current windows allow outside air to readily leak in.
Interior renovations include plumbing, HVAC, lighting, wiring, lockers, restrooms, fire alarms, communication systems, gym shower rooms, a sprinkler system and asbestos abatement.
These measures are different from a school levy, officials stressed.
"I've heard some people struggle with the difference between the levy and the bond," Mark Allen, a guidance counselor at George Ward Elementary School, said.
In November 2010, Randolph County voters passed an excess levy for the school system. The $14 million excess levy call was approved to generate $2.8 million a year for five years.
Phares explained that the levy money goes toward technology, maintenance, computer supplies and student travel, among other things.
The bond, however, along with the SBA funds, would cover the stated renovations and addition of a gymnasium.
Coalton Elementary School will be hosting the next bond meeting. It is scheduled for Sept. 25 at 6:30 p.m.
Contact Casey Houser by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.