Extension discussion begins Friday for Fayette superintendent George

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Extension discussion begins Friday for Fayette superintendent George
By Alex Wiederspiel, WV MetroNews

FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. — The next step in the Fayette County school revitalization process could begin Friday afternoon at a special meeting at the Board of Education Main Office.

That step: making Superintendent Terry George an employee of Fayette County–rather than of the State of West Virginia. George was originally hired by the State Board of Education when Fayette County was still under state control. His job, he said, was to facilitate the process of returning local control to Fayette County.

“That was my job when I was hired by the State Board,” George said. “My job was to work myself out of a job.”

The Fayette County Board of Education officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the State Board of Education this week, which returns full local control of the school system back to the local Board.

“We have sent that document back to the State Department and President Campbell,” Superintendent Terry George said. “Fayette County is now in full control of all aspects of it’s local Board of Education.”

The next step hinges on negotiations between the local Board and Superintendent Terry George, who’s contract expires June 30, 2017. The Fayette County Board of Education offered George a four-year extension to remain in Fayette County as Superintendent and oversee the process of school consolidation, facility renovation, and new facility construction.

George is optimistic the two sides will work on and agree to the terms of the potential deal Friday afternoon at a special meeting of the Fayette County Board of Education.

“My rationale for staying here is that we’re so early in the process of developing the contracts with the SBA and designing the schools,” George said. “I don’t think it’s fair to bring somebody in who has not been on board with it all.”

The School Building Authority will provide more than $22 million over two years to Fayette County, which is also providing about $17 million in local funds to begin phase one of a multi-dimensional plan to overhaul school facilities.

Theoretically, George said, four years from now he would be busy preparing for a new round of funding requests from the School Building Authority to begin the third phase of overhauling Fayette County school facilities.

“I hope to have all the preliminary work completed on that at the end of that four year period just to apply for the final phase of funding, which would fund the new elementary school at Midland Trail and the new Pre-K through 8th school at Meadow Bridge,” he said.

The full plan includes building three new elementary schools, a new Collins Middle School, renovating or re-configuring five other schools, and potentially redistricting some students from Meadow Bridge and Valley Fayette high schools into Greenbrier and Kanawha counties respectively.

Friday’s special meeting begins at noon at the Fayette County Board of Education main office.