CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Senate has approved the first bill of what will be a series of legislative actions which enable the Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Jackson County to become a privately run entity.

The current legislation removes the requirement that employees at Cedar Lakes are paid under the pay schedule of the Department of Education. The Department of Education has run the facility for 63 years. It was originally established as an educational camp for the Future Farmers of America and the Future Homemakers of America. It’s become an attraction for regional conferences and events in more recent years.

“About 500,000 people a year go through Cedar Lakes,” said Jackson County Senator Mitch Carmichael. “It’s been a part of the history of West Virginia for over 63 years.”

The recent education performance audit recommended the closure of the facility because of the cost and because it doesn’t fit with the modern day education mission. A local group fought to take over the camp and conference center and run it as a private entity through the Cedar Lakes Foundation.

“It’s a shame to see it at the point it will be divested from operation of the state of West Virginia,” said Carmichael. “But this bill, and others that will follow, will enable Cedar Lakes to be sustainable and viable in a private sector environment.”

The bill enables the employees as of July 1, 2014 to be paid according to a pay scale comparable to similar jobs in the industry in the region.


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  • Greg

    Make it a performing arts camp. The possibilities are endless. Make it and market it as a haven/getaway for performing arts groups throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. From reading another story here on WV Metro News, you could possibly get a tax break under the auspices of a tourism project.

  • flossrancher

    My two daughters are receiving excellent educations in West Virginia schools. They have had one dud teacher each in their eleven and twelve years. And both of them know the difference between "jive" and "jibe."

  • Lonnie Adkins

    "It doesnt fit the modern day education mission" which means it doesnt jive with the progressive liberal form of brainwashing...where students are not taught to be self sufficient and work for a living..instead are taught to be lazy and depend on big brother and live off the taxpayers dollar through entitlements.

    • GregG

      Yea Lonnie, my kids are really struggling with Welfare 101 and Intro to Disability. But on the bright side, they are doing really well in chemistry (meth cooking), horticulture (pot growing) and accounting (check bouncing).

  • ViennaGuy

    Senator Carmichael, why is divesting Cedar Lakes from state government a shame? It seems to me that divesting Cedar Lakes is good because divestiture will help insure the long-term survival and growth of the facility. Yes, it's been a part of state history for the past 63 years, and it will continue to be a part of state history - just not as a ward of the state government. Surely, you'd rather see it divested to a private foundation and continue as an ongoing entity than see it close up, right?

  • Brian

    "The recent education performance audit recommended the closure of the facility because of the cost and because it doesn’t fit with the modern day education mission."

    Just what is this mission? To me, it seems a place to network with other students from other places as well as all the benefits of a camp setting with hands on learning is perfect for any education mission.

    Now the cost is understandable, teachers need money for raises and resorts for conferences only half of which can be provided by cedar lakes.