Update: Work on Wood County Schools project halted

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP)-- Work on a $41 million Wood County Schools facilities project is halted for the time being.

During Wood County's Tuesday night Board of Education meeting, it was decided that before more plans could be made for the new Williamstown-area elementary school, the board of education must have a school closure hearing about Waverly Elementary School.

Once the board votes whether or not to close Waverly is when the other project will move forward. Board members say the earliest action will take place is most likely March.

"We had a lot of discussion from architects, engineers. We had some environmental testing that we had done. The board has decided at this point, there was quite the discussions about what bond call really said, and whether or not it is to close both Waverly and Wililamstown Elementary and do a consolidated school, so they want to resolved that issue," said Mike Fling, Assistant Superintendent of Wood County Schools.

A potential site for the new Williamstown-area elementary school is the Fenton Art Glass property in Williamstown.

The Wood County Board of Education voted Monday night on a bond levy for this November's ballot.

After multiple rounds of discussing options, the board settled on:
Replacing the Williamstown elementary, closing Waverly, Creating the Williamstown middle school, upgrading the Wood County Technical Center, and roof replacement at multiple facilities.

This option totals almost $53-million dollars.

The board learned that it would cost the average home owner $34.92 per year for each hundred-thousand dollars of assessment for the 15 year bond.

Mark Rhodes told the board while it will cost between $1200 to $1500 to add the bond to the ballot, it would cost $85-90,000 to do so in an off-year election instead.

More than 72 citizens packed the standing room only meeting Tuesday night.

The Williamstown elementary principal and Williamstown council persons urged the board that their community desperately needs a new school.

In other business, the board also heard presentations on the need for a strong fifth grade band program.

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