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Supervisors chairman suggests scaled-back plan for new school
Culpeper board chairman suggests starting new high school with only freshman, sophomore classes.

Date published: 1/3/2008

BY DONNIE JOHNSTON

Culpeper County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Chase yesterday suggested the School Board rethink next year's plans for Eastern View High School.

"What about just doing two grades out there?" he asked Superintendent David Cox. "Just open half the school with the ninth and 10th grades."

Chase said his suggestion arose partly out of concerns expressed by rising juniors and seniors at Culpeper High who do not want to move to the county's second high school, scheduled to open in August.

Saving money, however, was another reason for his suggestion to scale back the new school's operation during its first two years.

"I know the school is your problem but our problem is money, and this is going to be a tight year," Chase said. "It will mean a 65 percent tax increase if we give you what you want."

While Cox made no response to Chase's suggestion, Supervisor Tom Underwood liked the idea.

"It could save us money and help teachers and students," Underwood said. "It would give the culture at Eastern View a chance to evolve."

The School Board plans to open Eastern View as a complete ninth- through 12th-grade high school with a full complement of academic programs and varsity sports. Students will attend based on a 2006 redistricting plan.

Chase's suggestion came after school construction projects manager Hunter Spencer told supervisors that the School Board is expected to take possession of Eastern View by April 15 or earlier.

Spencer said he is also optimistic that Yowell Elementary School will be completed by Aug. 1 and ready for next school year.

In other business:

County Treasurer David DeJarnette suggested eliminating vehicle decals since the revenue is now collected as part of personal property taxes. Chase, however, said transfer stations rely on the stickers to determine whether out-of-county residents are dumping trash. The issue was sent back to committee for further study.

Underwood recommended further study before the county decides whether to partner with the town to build a new reservoir or drill deep wells for its future water needs. County staff were told to re-examine the issue.

The board awarded a contract to Evolve Architecture Inc. to design a terminal at Culpeper Regional Airport.

Supervisors approved using $111,000 to help fund a third lane on State Route 666 near Eastern View High.

The board voted to accept a $335,000 bequest from the William A. Spillman estate to be used either to expand the Culpeper County Library or to build a branch at the northern end of the county.

Donnie Johnston:
Email: djohnston@freelancestar.com