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Groundbreaking held for school

By Staff | Oct 8, 2010

MANNINGS – State and local officials were on hand Saturday morning for the groundbreaking of the new Blue Ridge Primary School on the Blue Ridge Elementary School campus along W.Va. 9 east of Charles Town.

Later in the day, most all the same dignitaries attended dedication ceremonies for Driswood Elementary School on Job Corps Road, which opened this year, drawing students from five other schools in the county that were overcrowded.

The 40,000-square-foot Blue Ridge Primary will be able to accommodate about 300 students in grades kindergarten through two, said Ralph Dinges, Jefferson County Schools assistant superintendent for construction and maintenance.

The elementary school will house third- through fifth-graders after the primary school is finished, officials said. It is expected to be completed for the opening of the school year in the fall of 2011, officials said.

Blue Ridge Primary was funded with $7.5 million from the West Virginia School Building Authority and $1 million from Jefferson County, officials said.

The primary school will replace so-called portable classrooms that students must use now, Dinges said.

“When we’re finished, we shouldn’t have anybody in trailers in elementary schools,” he said.

On Oct. 11, officials will return for the dedication of an 11-room addition to South Jefferson Elementary School, said Gail Woods, Jefferson County Schools public relations specialist.

Students have been using the new classrooms and other facilities since the beginning of the school year.

The project was funded with $1 million from the state SBA and $1 million from Jefferson County, officials have said.