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WYTHEVILLE, Va. – The Wythe County School Board recently announced that the board is considering the pros and cons of renovating county schools in Wytheville versus consolidating the facilities of George Wythe High School and Scott Memorial Middle School.

According to school board statements published in a March 11th article of the Wytheville Enterprise, the combined preliminary costs of renovating Scott Memorial Middle School and George Wythe High School is estimated to cost $21.5 million, as opposed to a $45 million price tag attached to constructing a consolidated facility, housing Scott Memorial Middle School and George Wythe High School.

“No one is debating whether or not improvements need to be made to the school-facilities inside the town limits, but it’s necessary to take a hard look at how best to modernize these schools in order to be the most cost-effective,” said Tim Reeves, chairman of the Wythe County Board of Supervisors.

County leaders estimate that in order to build the $45 million consolidated school complex in Wytheville – as opposed to renovating the two schools – a $0.15 real estate tax increase would be necessary (an increase of $150 per $100,000 of home value on annual real estate taxes).

Recognizing the significance of the decision, the county’s Board of Supervisors has reached out to the public through an online poll, requesting the public’s feedback.

The county has launched an online poll on its official news site, www.WytheTheNews.com, asking residents a simple question: “Would you be willing to support the construction of a $45 million new school complex in Wytheville if it meant having to pay an increase of $150 per $100,000 of home value on your real estate taxes each year?”

The poll is open to county residents only and only one vote per residential address will be accepted (participants must enter their street address). County citizens who wish to vote in the poll may do so at the following link: http://wythethenews.com/wythe-county-school-construction/ 

Under the Code of Virginia, the county’s Board of Supervisors is responsible for funding the county’s school system.

Presently, the Wythe County Board of Supervisors is funding the county’s School Board at approximately +$15.7 million annually, nearly two-times the state’s mandated rate.

Renovating or consolidating schools in Wytheville is just the latest phase in the county’s dedication to modernize the county’s fourteen schools – two years ago the county funded renovations to Sheffey Elementary School and Rural Retreat Middle School.

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