Joint workshop focuses on future of Jonesborough school

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JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL)- The crowd cheered at the McKinney center tonight after a joint workshop between the Washington Co. School Board, Washington, Co. Commission and the town of Jonesborough.

The workshop was held for the Town of Jonesborough to present their plan for the Jonesborough K-8 School.

Mayor Chuck Vest presented a brand new school with no tax increase and the hope of being closer to a needed agreement for the school.

“It will be a new structure with a gymnasium, cafeteria, library, all the features you want in a brand new school. It will also be surrounded by recreational facilities that our town needs…” said Vest.

The plan is for the town of Jonesborough to build the new facility off North Cherokee. The town would then lease it to Washington County government- and the school system.

Vest says, “We thought that that would be a good marriage between the school board needing a new facility for education and us needing a desire for recreational facilities and to marry those two into this plan is like the ideal time to do.”

He also thinks that this an ideal time financially due to low interest rates and construction costs.

Right now there is about $2.6 million available for Jonesborough School.

The lease payments would total about $2.3 million leaving $274,200 for other county capital needs each year.

“The process could take a couple of years but we hope that within 2-3 months, we’ll have all three boards on board and have it approved” said Town of Jonesborough Attorney and Washington Co. Commissioner Jim Wheeler.

The proposal also allows for the school to be added onto for additional students- something Jonesborough and Washington County leaders hope to see by committing to this plan.

“One thing we’ve learned in Jonesborough with talking with developers and people moving into the area is that the perception of schools is important,” said Wheeler.

But until the “master agreement” between the Washington Co. school Board, the Washington Co. commission and town of Jonesborough is agreed on- the K-8 will continue to wait.

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