The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in a Special Called meeting on Tuesday, August 31, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors meeting room located in the Wise County Courthouse in Wise, VA. The following members were present:
Honorable J. H. Rivers – Chairman
Honorable Dana Kilgore – Vice-Chair
Honorable Steve Bates
Honorable Ronald L. Shortt
Honorable Fred Luntsford
Honorable Robert E. Robbins, Jr.
Honorable Virginia Meador – members of said Board and
Shannon C. Scott – County Administrator
David L. Cox – County Financial Administrator
Karen T. Mullins – Legal Administrator
Annette Underwood – Executive Secretary
Honorable Robert R. Adkins
IN RE: PURPOSE OF MEETING
Chairman Rivers advised that a Special Called meeting of the Board of Supervisors has been requested by two (2) Board members for this date for the purpose of:
IN RE: SCHOOL BOARD / NEW PLAN FOR HIGH SCHOOLS
Dr. Jeff Perry, Superintendent of Public Schools, provided the Board with a power point presentation on the proposed Wise County School Division High School Building Project. He provided an enrollment summary which indicated a loss of 183 students since 2006 and a loss of $1.45 M in state/federal funding.
The new plan will be done in two (2) phases. Phase one (1): build a new school in Wise on the current Central Office site for 750 students; build a new school in Big Stone behind PVHS for 750 students and demolish old PVHS; renovate Coeburn High School; build a gym at Appalachia Elementary School, and convert St. Paul to K-12.
Phase two (2): install AC and new windows at Appalachia High School and Pound High School and make any necessary renovations at St. Paul High School.
Dr. Perry reviewed the high school building project’s new construction and renovation costs for a total cost of $70,500,000.00. He provided figures for potential funding loss of $59,000,000.00 if the Board did not take advantage of the low construction costs and low interest rates. There would be a loss of QSCB funding and an increase on LCI.
The time schedule for construction depends on start date. Assuming that November is the start date; the new schools would be finished January 2013, the Coeburn renovations would be finished August 2013, Appalachia High School/Pound High School August 2013 and the Appalachia Elementary Gym February 2012.
This is a compromise plan that addresses major concerns such as safety, community schools, the economy and finances. This plan allows parents to make a decision on the best school for their child and places the funding decision on the Board of Supervisors. It also capitalizes on funding options; QSCB, low construction costs, low interest rates, and re-purpose use of Kelly High School.
Dr. Perry noted that they need a final decision from the Board in November 2010 and decide if this plan is viable by the end of September. A quick response from the Board would be appreciated.
In his closing remarks, Dr. Perry expressed the need to get this issue behind us and move forward in healing the County from the wounds that have occurred within families and friendships and move forward with future development of Wise County.
There was a brief discussion on Dr. Perry’s presentation.
IN RE: RESOLUTION SUPPORTING A SPECIAL ELECTION / SCHOOL BOARD VACANCY
A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Virginia Meador, to approve the resolution supporting a special election for the School Board vacancy.
A substitute motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by Steve Bates, to table this resolution until the September 9 Board meeting at which time the full Board will be present.
Supervisor Kilgore explained that since this is an item that the Board is divided on, she felt that it would be unfair to vote without all members being present to cast their vote.
There was some discussion on how agenda items were to be handled with and without a full Board being present; especially on those items that all members are not in full agreement.
Supervisor Robbins asked for a brief recess at this time to allow him to speak with a Board member regarding the motion on the floor.
Chairman Rivers called for a brief recess at 7:22 p.m.
The meeting reconvened at 7:27 p.m.
Chairman Rivers asked for a vote on the substitute motion to table the resolution supporting a special election for the School Board vacancy. The motion was unanimously approved.
A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by Steve Bates, to adjourn the meeting. The motion was unanimously approved.
ATTEST: WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Shannon C. Scott, Clerk J. H. Rivers, Chairman