Sale of surplus property could fund school repairs

FRONT ROYAL — At a Thursday night meeting, the Warren County School Board discussed using an additional $115,200 from the upcoming sale of surplus property to fund needed school repairs.

The property at 240 Water St., Front Royal, was not being used for educational purposes or classroom space, but board member James Wells suggested funding from the sale of the property could go to desperately needed updates at Ressie Jeffries Elementary School.

“We need a lot to do what we can,” Wells said.

Having no plans for using the Water Street property for educational purposes, board members voted to adopt a resolution declaring the property surplus and accept an unsolicited offer from Larry Andrews in the amount of $115,200 to purchase the property and convey the title into Andrews’ name.

The resolution included stipulations that the board share no responsibility in paying closing costs on the sale of the property or costs of a title search.

A public hearing on the matter of surplus property took place on May 14.

Pending a decision by the Warren County Board of Supervisors, Assistant Superintendent for Administration Melody Sheppard said money from the sale will fund capital improvement projects.

The board also welcomed new Superintendent L. Gregory Drescher, who succeeded Pamela McInnis, effective July 1, and appointed him the board’s second deputy clerk. Drescher will serve the role in the event that Clerk Robert Ballentine and Deputy Clerk Annette Bass are both absent from any given School Board meeting.

As a third appointee, Drescher said could handle required duties of clerk, such as certifying a closed session.

“I am happy to do that,” Dresher said.

Drescher’s term as deputy clerk will run until Dec. 31.

Other meeting actions included the awarding of contracts for the following services:

• JRM Consulting Service LLC, to be an owner’s representative for the new middle school, at a fee not to exceed $175,000;

• An Aimsweb Assessment Program, a web-based assessment and response interventional solution, for the cost of $21,600 using funds in the division’s Testing Cost Center;

• Reports Online System database for an already budgeted annual cost of $24,110 from the Testing Cost Center.

The board approved the 2015-2021 local plan for the education of the gifted, and Vice Chair Joanne Cherefko expressed an interest in Warren children benefiting from resource teachers for gifted students like students in other area districts do.

Such students need increased efforts to identify and produce a unique education for them, she said.

Later this month, the board plans retreat sessions for 1 p.m. July 16 and 9 a.m. July 17, with a third scheduled for 5 p.m. July 23 if necessary.

At its next regular meeting at 7 p.m. Aug. 13 at 210 N. Commerce Ave., Front Royal, the School Board plans to discuss the Special Education Advisory Committee’s annual report and award a contract for the new middle school’s special inspections services.

Contact staff writer Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or

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