Gayle Manchin: Back to square one after Fayette County bond failure

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Gayle Manchin: Back to square one after Fayette County bond failure
By Matt Maccaro, WV MetroNews

FAYETTE COUNTY, W.Va. After a $39 million bond referendum to renovate Fayette County Schools was soundly defeated last month, state Board of Education member Gayle Manchin recently weighed-in on what the next step is for the school system.

If the bond had passed, it would have been used to build a new elementary school in Mount Hope, a new middle school in Oak Hill, and to renovate Midland Trail, Oak Hill and Valley high schools. Manchin said the state school board wanted to stay neutral and give the idea a chance.

“We felt that it was very important that we truly stay removed from the process,” Manchin said. “To enable them as a county to put this forward and get out recruits for votes.”

She said that now that the bond didn’t passed, the school board has to look at what the next step is. She has faith in new Fayette County Superintendent Terry George.

“There will have to be a regrouping. There’s a brand new superintendent in Fayette County. He certainly has to have a chance to organize and pull people together. I believe he will do that,” she said of George. “The state board will be a part of that process. We will go now back into step one planning mode.”

Nearly 62 percent of voters opposed the bond when it was voted on. A bond also failed in Fayette County in both 2001 and 2009.

Community members in Meadow Bridge and Fayetteville strongly opposed the bond because the current high schools would have been closed if it passed.