George Wythe High School getting $10 million in renovations following public hearing

WYTHE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7) The 66-year old George Wythe High School in Wythe County will be getting a much needed renovation. This following a public hearing Tuesday night and vote by county government.

It's the end of November, but inside the high school, it was nearly 80 degrees Tuesday afternoon.

That's because there's no central air conditioner, the heat cannot be controlled, and there are only mobile A/C units in the upstairs classrooms.

Couple all that with damage along windows, in hallways, and huge cracks inside one of the gyms, it's no wonder the renovations were so supported by everyone who spoke Tuesday night.

Julia Tomiak of Wythe County said, "I'm in favor of funding the renovations to George Wythe and I'm in favor of you issuing the bond."

Wilson Bethard of Wytheville identified himself as a former school administrator and said, "The money that you're going to spend in doing this school is the best money you're going to spend in the next whatever years."

The proposal was for $10 million to go to the school, something the principal said before the public hearing was the minimum it will need.

Ideally he wanted an additional $5 million to do more work. That was a proposition some voiced Tuesday night, along with work being done at Scott Memorial Middle School.

Rusty Jones of Wytheville said, "Consider the Middle School with the consolidation up there to the high school campus...and at least on this initial funding, make certain we fund enough to do the job."

George James of Wytheville added, "I want to make sure that we're not shortchanging ourselves, that we're not spending money now that 10 years from now we're going to say, 'Well we should have done this, we should have done that.'"

Lynne Storms of Wytheville also said, "We need to do everything we can to make sure that we have enough to do all that we need for the High School and the middle school."

The board voted unanimously to approve a bond of $10 million.

The County Administrator Stephen Bear said the $10 million figure was decided in June during budget talks.

That amount was already planned into the budget and tax rate, so Tuesday night's decision won't affect taxes any further.

Bear also said the bond will close on December 12, so the money should be available then.

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