Public hearing on Bedford County gym plan draws crowd

BEDFORD CO., Va. (WDBJ7) A new $6 million gym project is in the works at a Bedford County high school, but parents worry the plans aren't good enough.

Reagan Flaherty, a Liberty High School parent, said, "I mean if we're going to spend the money, it needs to be done the right way."

Reagan Flaherty is Liberty High School's athletic booster president. She joined the school board, architects and other people from the community during a campus tour Monday afternoon.

"Delighted to get a new competition gym but just want it done right the first time,” she said.

They looked through the current gym which includes a weight room, as well as coach’s offices. Those areas aren't included in the current plans for a new gym.

Terri Bollinger, a Liberty High School parents, said, "I want to see the plans ahead of time. I want to know what the cost is going to be instead of, ‘Oh wait we forgot that.’”

Terri Bollinger says the proposed gym isn't on par with what the other high schools in the county have. That, and she says they won't be able to host tournaments in the space. The school board chairman says he believes needed spaces can be added in to the plan.

Gary Hostutler, Chairman Bedford County School Board, said, "A lot of that's still to be determined. It's still very early in this process and the architects have a lot more work to do."

"My fear is that this is a go to vote now and what you get is what you get,” said Bollinger.

That's why Bollinger and dozens of people attended a public hearing after the tour, asking the board to get a more detailed plan before voting on one.
The board decided to hold off on a vote for now while they get more answers.

"If we can't do it this year, fine, let's do it next year,” said Flaherty.

The chairman asked the architect to come up with a more detailed floor plan that would allow the school to host competitions. They asked for that to be done by their June board meeting.

The board did decide they would most likely place the new gym where the current baseball field is.