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Randolph, Barbour school proposals fall

November 7, 2012
By Beth Christian Broschart - Staff Writer ( , The Inter-Mountain

The Randolph County schools' bond call and Barbour County schools' bond call and excess levy proposals all were defeated during Tuesday's general election, according to unofficial results.

In Randolph County, the school bond received 3,819 votes, representing 40.08 percent of the vote. Votes against the measure numbered 5,389, or 59.92 percent of the vote.

The Randolph County Board of Education was hoping to pass a bond of $13.5 million among voters and use the funds to obtain a grant from the state School Building Authority for $9.2 million. Because the levy was defeated, the grant from the SBA will not occur.

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The bond and SBA grant would have been used in the Randolph County community schools to provide for: HVAC and electrical upgrades; safety and disability access improvements; a new gym at Tygarts Valley High School and renovation to the Elkins Middle School area; a new cafeteria and music room at Harman School; a new cafeteria at Beverly Elementary; and installation of air conditioning in Elkins High School's gym.

"I think the plan was clear and articulate," said Bob Dunkerly, chairman of the school bond committee. "But, at the end of the day, it came down to economic issues. People who were against the bond call were not against the schools."

Dunkerly said it will be hard, but school officials will need to come up with another plan.

Those voting for the excess levy in Barbour County numbered 2,236, or 39.35 percent of the vote. Those voting against the levy numbered 3,447, or 60.65 percent of the vote.

A total of 2,115 people voted for the school bond in Barbour County, representing 37.26 percent of the vote. A total of 3,562 Barbour County voters clicked no for the bond, representing 62.74 percent of the vote.

In Barbour County, the proposed bond would have provided funding for improvements to the athletic complex at Philip Barbour High School. It was slated to raise $5,480,000 over 10 years.

The proposed Barbour excess levy, which was listed on the ballot as a separate measure, would have helped to fund the purchase of educational materials, maintenance of school facilities and much more across the county.

If the levy had passed, it would have raised $2,191,456 per year for five years.

"It is one of those things," said Dr. Joseph Super, superintendent of Barbour County Schools. "The voters have spoken. There are going to be tough decisions. We have a fiscal responsibility to keep the system afloat."

Super said he is going to have to make some difficult recommendations to the Barbour Board of Education.



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