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Posted June 26, 2012 | comments 4 Comments

Superintendent: Edinburg school project is self-sustaining

By Kim Walter -- kwalter@nvdaily.com

The Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors received an update on the old Edinburg school renovation Tuesday night, as well as more information about likely partner United Methodist Family Services.

"We've developed a sound business model to better the county's students," said Superintendent B. Keith Rowland on the proposed program that would serve emotionally disturbed, autistic and other special education students.

Rowland said that a business model has been developed with United Methodist Family Services, and if carried out, there would be no net impact on the county's general fund. While roughly $4.5 million is required to renovate the facility, the tenant's rent to use the building would cover that cost, he said.

"This model is self-sustaining. No questions," Rowland said.

County Administrator Douglas Walker added that currently students are transported as far away as Manassas and Harrisonburg, so keeping them in the county would help cut costs as well. Surrounding school districts will be invited to participate in the program as well, which could be another possible source of revenue.

Walker and Rowland said a request for proposal should be issued in the near future, going in accordance with standard procedures for projects of the same nature.

"I know for a fact other agencies will respond to the RFP," Rowland said. While it was acknowledged that competitors were expected and welcome to respond, Walker added that direct solicitation could help expedite the process.

Executive Director of United Family Services, Greg Peters, gave the supervisors more information on the organization and what their goal was with the project.

"Our goal is to keep families together, and if that isn't possible, we create families," Peters said. The organization's "alternative" school was founded in 1978, and Peters said that 20 years of data has been collected to chart the success rate of the program.

"This is not just about education, but returning these students back to their community as a whole person," he said. "We want them ready for college, jobs ... whatever their next phase of life may be."

Peters also addressed the need for the special education students to be prepared to take SOLs.

"From day one of the program, we are working to transition them back into the public school system," he said. Peters also said that in a normal classroom, the program incorporates certified teachers, as well as aides and therapists, so that if a student has an issue it can be dealt with in the school.

Walker noted that the request for proposal would be administered by the county, which would also be the landlord for the facility. The relationship between the schools and the selected tenant would only be operational, he said.

4 Comments | Leave a comment

    This project is being brought to you by good old boy David Furgesen, never made a promise he didn't keep. Let spend money we don't have and sell the project to the TAX PAYERS: it will pay for itself in the future, it wont cost you anything, OH wait a minute $4,500,000.00 thats what this project that we dont need or want will cost us..........Oh we will make it back if we collect rent that we will...... Oh where is that guarranted lease....Well I, cristal ball where did I put that thing, Furgesen non hey Doug W. can you come over here and make me look good.

    You're right. Lets just let the school sit there until it falls down. Can't cost that much to clean up the site, can it? Maybe sell it to a developer to build more houses, with more children that we have to bus to Manassas or where ever. After all, school buses, drivers, gas, etc can't cost that much, can it?

      Out houses and the horse and buggy. These people will not be satisfied until no money is spent for anything. Pot hole? Who cares, your car is your problem. Something decent for special needs kids? Nope, put a fence around them and throw in some head gear. Take existing structures and make them useful? Nah, we like the run down ghetto look.

      Oh yeah, let's not forget this................ If you happen to agree with anything the BOS is doing then you're labeled nazi, fascist, etc. Ask any question to someone wanting to argue and you either get no response, a wild rant that doesn't make sense, or the constant non-sensical threat that actually making things better is going to "devastate" the county economy. BS!!

    self-sustaining? Debt service at 4% for 30 years will be over $21K per MONTH plus utilities, staff, etc.

    Would love to see the numbers manufactured to determine this will be "self-sustaining"...?? or that this nonprofit has the financial resources to ensure payment.

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