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Last updateWed, 19 Nov 2014 8pm

   2014 39.95 HSD w VIDor PH-Banner2-500-x-125

School budget approval bring tears of Joy

Superintendent Kathleen Beane was very emotional when she heard the news that Colonial Beach Town Council approved the 2013-2014 school year budget.

The budget amount approved was almost $400,000 more than last year's budget due to reduced federal funding and the need to replace three aging trailers used for classes on the elementary campus.

Three of the elementary school trailers on the elementary campus are in deplorable conditions according to school board officials and need to be replaced.

The school board has been scrambling to find a solution if the money did not come forward to replace trailers before next year. One alternative was to use the school gymnasium to conduct classes in.

However school officials were concerned about utilizing the gym, which is attached to the condemned 100 year old school building. The gym has been deemed safe but capacity is limited to 49 people by the fire marshal and heating and cooling bills for the gym are astronomical.

While discussing the renovations that would be needed to utilize the gym for classes, the school officials also discussed the need for a new cafeteria roof. These discussions sparked another alternative; move the Elementary School Campus to the High School Campus.

School officials said that the elementary school would remain a separate self-contained campus, but would be located on the property at 100 First St., along with the high school and the middle school.

Officials can breath easy now and start planning for the move right away, to ensure the elementary school is located on the HS campus as soon as possible.

According to Tracey Tunstall, “Realistically we would like it to happen before the new year, hopefully in the first month,” but there are several actions that need to take place before the move can be complete. Tunstall said the school is usually at the mercy of the utility companies schedules such as Dominion Virginia Power and Verizon.

The council is now tasked with finding funding, only four officials admitted they would raise real estate taxes only if absolutely needed but all agreed to commit to the school system and work diligently to find a funding solutions without raising taxes.

All these details will be discussed in more detail in the May 22 edition of the Journal Press.

Linda Farneth

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