The Jefferson County Board of Education, in cooperation with the Jefferson County Development Authority (JCDA), has saved County taxpayers $3 million by re-purposing an existing building for a bus garage rather than constructing a new building. The Board purchased the 110,000-square-foot building most recently owned by the Berzaci company in the Burr Business Park in Kearneysville.
"Saving our school system, the county and taxpayers $3 million is a huge accomplishment," said Gary Kable, Jefferson County Board of Education president. "People came together to do the work and bring this to fruition. We couldn't have done it without our transportation folks, the assistant superintendent for buildings, the maintenance and food service departments, the legal department and of course the members of the board. It was a cooperative effort."
Kable said the JCDA was instrumental in helping the Board and the school system with the sale and transfer of the property. He said the size of the building, and the 11.5 acres it sits on, is ideal because it will accommodate consolidation of other school operations, creating cost and labor-saving efficiencies.
"Collaboration between county agencies, such as the school system and the JCDA, is the kind of 'out-of- the-box' thinking that will see Jefferson County grow and prosper, " said Walt Pellish, President of the Jefferson County Commission.
"As the economic development authority we serve the taxpayers of Jefferson County," said Eric Lewis, President of the JCDA Board. "Collaborating with the Board of Education allowed us to facilitate the sale of an empty building in Burr Business Park while serving the needs of the school system and helping to save taxpayer dollars."
After some work on the new facilities-including installation of ten bus bays, lighting adjustments and construction of a parts room, Kable said the garage should be operational by the end of the year.