CHARLESTON, W.Va. — For a 2nd time, voters in Ritchie County have rejected a proposed school bond while a separate, larger proposal in Ohio County has been approved.
Results from the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office indicated 54 percent of Ritchie County voters in Tuesday’s primary voted against the $7.9 million proposal and nearly 46 percent supported it: 1,304 to 1,110.
In Ohio County, more than 60 percent of voters, 4,888 to 3,154, cast ballots for a proposed $42 million bond that includes funding for safety and building improvements at 13 schools.
More than half of the approved bond amount has been designated for Wheeling Park High School with plans for a renovated entrance and science labs along with additional space for music.
The state School Building Authority will be asked to provide $27 million in additional funding.
As proposed, the Ritchie County bond would have funded a new elementary school in Ellenboro.
Its failure most likely means the end of plans to consolidate three older elementary schools — Ellenboro, Harrisville and Creed Collins — into one new facility.
“It’s going to be much better in all ways for our students if they can get a new elementary school,” Ritchie County Superintendent Rick Coffman told MetroNews before Tuesday’s vote.
Last September, a $9.9 million bond was proposed which included the consolidated elementary school project along with funding for renovations to Ritchie County Middle High School.
In December, the SBA allocated $1.4 million for the middle and high school renovations in Ritchie County which included security upgrades to the school entrance, exterior door replacements and the relocation of administrative offices.
Because of that, only the elementary school project remained on the bond call.