WEST UNION -- Greenbrier Grade School will stay open until a consolidated elementary is finished, probably in fall 2002.
The Doddridge County Board of Education has abandoned a plan to close the school one year early, according to Jeff Moss, superintendent of schools. The plan was intended to save a projected $166,000 to offset a shortfall in property taxes.
"Indeed, that money could have been saved," Moss said. "But, I think the board will look at other options to save money.
"We'll work with the budget overall ... We're not going to be in a deficit this year or next."
A public hearing on the proposed closure scheduled for Thursday night was canceled after Moss individually called board members and learned each of them had decided against the plan, he said. He informed Greenbrier parents of the decision with a flyer posted at the school and in person at a Parent-Teacher Organization meeting.
"It's impossible to take issue with people who care about their kids," Moss said of great concern expressed by parents of about 35 kindergarten-through-fourth grade students at the rural school.
Parent Randy Plaugher, whose oldest son is now in kindergarten, said he is delighted with the announcement.
"We were all hoping to keep it open another year," Plaugher said. "We're excited and pleased."
Plaugher, who also drives a school bus for the county system, said he is equally pleased with the new consolidated school that will ultimately bring the closure of Greenbrier and several other elementaries scattered throughout the sparsely populated county.
"We all like our little county school, but sometimes you can't help but change," Plaugher said.
Moss said the county and state boards of education have already approved the closing of the community elementaries to coincide with the opening of the new school, scheduled for mid-2002.
Regional editor Nora Edinger can be reached at 626-1403 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.