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Posted October 23, 2012 | comments 14 Comments

Board approves Edinburg School project

By Kim Walter

After an hour's worth of public comments and additional discussion among board members, the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors approved the Edinburg School project.

The agenda items -- consideration of a comprehensive agreement with Caldwell Santmyer for design build services for the Edinburg School and Historic Courthouse, consideration of a lease agreement between the county and Charterhouse School to provide educational services, and consideration of a resolution to ratify, approve and confirm the issuance and sale of up to $4.5 million in Virginia revenue bonds to be sold to the Virginia Resources Authority -- all received a 5 to 1 vote, with board member John Neese being the only one to oppose each item.

Several citizens supported the project, but many voiced opposition, asking the board why the former Community Christian School in Woodstock, which closed earlier this year, could not be used for Charterhouse's uses. Many citizens went over their allotted speaking time, and voiced concern over taxes increasing.

Superintendent B. Keith Rowland addressed the board, listing reasons why that school building would not be sufficient. Board member Sharon Baroncelli noted that while that building did not meet the needs for Charterhouse, which will cater to students with autism and severe emotional disabilities, it is still a "beautiful" building, and could serve another business. One speaker threatened to not pay taxes if the project was approved.

Rowland explained that in order to meet the requirements and codes of the state's public school system, class sizes needed 75 square feet per student. While classes are 400 square feet in the Community Christian School, each room would need an added bathroom, which would take away 100 square feet. Also, while 10 classrooms were identified, for space needs, a wall would need to be knocked down between each, taking the number down to five classrooms.

Outside air is also required, which is not available in that building. Rowland said the kitchen is also not large enough for its proposed use, as it would need to be an additional 600 square feet larger. The ceilings are all 8 feet in height, and to meet code, they would need to be 9 feet high.

Rowland said Charterhouse also communicated that it would not be interested in the Community Christian School building for the proposed educational needs for other reasons, like there being no place for a horticulture class. Additionally, the county does not own the building, so it would be entirely up to Charterhouse to undertake the purchase of it, Rowland said.

"There are more than just cosmetic issues to deal with," he said.

Board member David. E. Ferguson addressed the citizens before voting took place.

"I don't think anyone can question the need to provide a quality education and safe environment for these students," he said. He also said that the project would employ county residents, and the revenue from Charterhouse paying rent at the Edinburg School would pay for the renovation, therefore not causing a rise in taxes.

Baroncelli agreed, saying "the project pays for itself."

Neese stated the reason he voted against the project as being that he can't "roll the dice on the money," as the contract can be exited by Charterhouse with 365 days notice.

Representatives from United Methodist Family Services addressed board members and said that not only did they plan to stay for the full 30 years of the contract, but it could be more. In the first year in the county, the business will put about $1 million into establishing the program.

"This is a contract with a viable organization," Supervisor Dennis Morris said. "These students will have a prom, a homecoming ... they deserve as much as any other child in the county."

Contact staff writer Kim Walter at 540-465-5137 ext. 191, or kwalter@nvdaily.com

14 Comments | Leave a comment

    The Railroad is alive and well in Woodstock! Tonight we watched the train barrel through with Engineer Furgeson leading the way. Before the meeting began a newspaper had already printed the construction start date, which had been given by no other than Condutor Walker to this newspaper! Even the agenda was written that the vote would take place after public comment and to make sure the train remained at full speed ahead, the passengers, were from the VRA, Charterhouse, and Dr. Roland they were all there to protect thier interests. None the less that Railroad had a job to do and who needs these stinking tax payers anyway. They did not even buy a ticket. Well folks there were some very courageous people there who spoke not against the need for educating special needs children, BUT SPOKE AGAINST THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS SPENDING SPREE AND HOW THE TAX PAYERS CANT AFFORD IT. Seems the BOS doesnt care about the unemployed or the elderly on fixed incomes or even the taxpayers who barely make a living. NOPE THE NEW PROGRESSIVE AGENDA IS TAX AND SPEND TAX AND SPEND. Well were almost at the end of the line, Lets replace Obama and then the BOS.

      You really had my attention until the very end. What in the devil does Obama have to do with any of this local stuff? Those cats are all die-hard Republicans!!!!!

      You get rich boy Romney in the White House and you will see even more crap! God have you been listening to any of this stuff?

    Hoo boy, those rascally Teabillies were in rare form tonight, eh? And, unlike the drunk who wakes up with regret in the morning, the forever angry Teabillies will wake up mad as ever, fixin' to get sideways and start throwing bricks all over again. Only in America. (Imagine furious flag waving here)

    Now, if only that Kenyan without a birth certificate doesn't get re-elected the Shenandoah Teabillies will be in hog heaven, exchanging Obama for Romney as the one to blame for their deprived lives gone horribly wrong. Maybe it is time to commit 100% and substitute Mormonism for Evangelical Fundamentalism, too? Just need to change the movable letter yard sign messages in front of the buildings and you'd be good to go all John Smith LDS up in the hood and be required to wear some fancy new undergarments with the pagan symbols placed in strategic places.

    Guess I just got booted from a few Xmas card lists, huh?


      Mr. Pierceall (Roflmao)
      I am surprised that you were ever on anyone's Christmas Card List. You claim to be an atheist. If that makes you feel good then so be it. If you want to be a Democrat..then so be it. No one cares what you think or what you do. You can be miserable in your own right for the few short years you have left on this earth, and then you will certainly have to deal with the man with the red man with the horns.

    Am I to understand taxpayers will now subsidize the removal of asbestos (floor and ceiling tile) and other hazardous materials (lead paint?) and make substantial building renovations to the old school in order to rent it to a religious organization, when the new Christian Community School building has none of these concerns???

    Teabillies???? From someone with the name MAO in it. Really???

    I agree whole hardetly with frebird's comments above.

    this is sort of the same context of what frebird said above, but with the regional jail.

    I logged oand snto the Va dept of Corrections web site and see nothing about the white post corectional center being still in operation. Why couldn't the regional jail be placed there. Whatever upgrades etc, would be reasonable im' sure.

    Well I am not surprised by the outcome of the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors meeting. But for the board to move forward with yet another multimillion dollar project, at this time, after hearing Shenandoah County School Superintendent say the following:
    “Two public school boilers need replacing, two public school roofs need replacing, and these are priorities.” Dr. Rowland continues, “In all honesty, these needs are paramount. If one boiler breaks, there’s no heat for that school”. One school board member said “wet spots and mold growth inside the schools can cause a safety hazard” in reference to the roofs that need replacing. When asked about the funds in the school’s capital improvement plan budget, Dr. Rowland stated “We haven’t had one; it has been five years since the CIP budget has had any money in it. These are big, urgent items”, Dr. Rowland said to the county board, “if we can get support for that, it would be helpful.”
    Where is the accountability in this county among our “representative’s? After hearing these revelations from Dr. Rowland, who, has been working on another multimillion dollar project the county cannot afford, while our current schools have failing maintenance problems. Shouldn’t the school or county board be asking for his resignation? I guess not, that would mean the respective boards would have to fire themselves. That is if we are to hold everyone accountable for the neglect of our current public schools. The schools our children attend everyday and we, until this week, thought were being properly maintained and safe for our children. I wonder which school districts parents will get the call first saying “I’m sorry there will be no school today due to the failure of our heating system or our roof.” “Please stay by your phones for the very latest information regarding when your child will be able to return to a safe school”. “We are sorry that your child may fall behind in their studies”. Please call the VRA with complaints, because your school superintendent and county representative’s are too busy with their new $4.5million renovation project, $100 million dollar luxury jail with major detail problems, and the old courthouse renovations.

    Netlingo to English for dummies:



    Dear 'sosueme',

    4ur411, I'm the HBIC.
    YMMD, because YRYOCC, and I'm pretty sure you have a RCI.
    LMAO.... no, wait. Actually it says here I'm ROTFLMFAO





    Dear Stella,



      How is anybody suppose to take you seriously when you 'act' like an idiot with your postings? It's time to grow up.

        John, ROFLMAO has more fun being "funny" (so-called) and especially p------ people off. Just ignore him and he won't go away.

        OK, ROF it's time for the nuns to bring out the old ruler! Now put out your hands like a "good" boy while we beat the (you know what) out of you. : p

        I'm having my evening glass of wine, good for the heart and "soul" (if not overdone that is). ; )

          Hey, I'm a rural bumpkin that choses not to have political sign in my yard. I vote for who I want to. Dem is most likely the way to go. I see alot of republican signs in the valley. But I see alot of land with no signs also.

          We just ned to vote for the people. and

    Dear John,
    Oh, how I hate to write this letter to you ... BUT, it's all over between you and me. BTW, I've had nicer people call be worse.

    And let me remind you nobody, but nooooobody, has ever accused me of thinking. Now, don't you start encouraging me to change my ways. When I grow up I want to be a cult leader, predict the end of the world, and blame it on Republicans, who received help from the neo-Nazi's, orchestrated by the Mayan calendar, endorsed by Dennis Miller, and reported as 'news' by entertainer Sean Hannity. As for Rush Limbaugh, he remains flabbergasted and befuddled, confused by the horse and bayonet debate. Maybe he needs to take a good laxative?

    Whaddayathink, there Skeeter?


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