School bond rejected; What happens now?

By  | 

RITCHIE COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - Ritchie County school officials are expected to make personnel and educational program cuts, in light of last weekend's special election, which saw a $9.9 million school bond rejected.

In a phone call Tuesday, Superintendent Rick Coffman said he and board members met Monday night to review more than 20 potential cuts.

The bond would have helped finance improvements to the county's high school and middle school. It also would have triggered the consolidation of three elementary schools: Harrisville Elementary School, Ellenboro Elementary, and Creed Collins Elementary School in Pennsboro.

District officials had secured land in Ellenboro, where a new school would have been built to house the students. They also expected to receive funds from the School Building Authority, if the bond had passed.

That plan will not come to fruition.

The district has been plagued by financial difficulties: a combination of declining enrollment, a dip in tax revenue collections, and the costs to operate and maintain aging facilities.

In a statement to 5 News Monday, Coffman wrote the following:

“What a missed opportunity to significantly help the current and future students and staff members of Ritchie County Schools. Recent failure of the school bond forces the continued operation and maintenance of too many old school facilities. Unfortunately, these enormous costs will force more personnel cuts and the loss of more important educational programs. In the end, the students of Ritchie County will be the ones who will continue to suffer."

Coffman stressed the urgency of a 'Yes' vote in August. You can find that original story in the 'Related Items' tab.