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February 19, 2019

Board to conduct special meeting on middle schools

The Taylor Middle School building, constructed in the 1950s, would get repurposed under the scenario.
Fauquier’s school board will hold a special meeting next week to discuss a tentative $40-million proposal to address Warrenton’s two aging middle schools.

The meeting will take place at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, in the school board office at 320 Hospital Drive.

School board and county supervisors over the last four months met behind-the-scenes to hammer out the plan.

Supervisor Chris Granger (Center District) last week introduced the proposal that would include:

• A $30-million renovation and expansion of Warrenton Middle School to accommodate up to 650 students.

• A possible $10 million renovation and expansion of Cedar Lee Middle School, increasing its capacity by 150 students. 

• Redrawing attendance districts, which would send more students to Auburn Middle School. 

• The sale of the five-acre Warrenton Community Center property (formerly Central Elementary) to help fund the project. For tax purposes, the county values land property and the buildings — adjacent to Walmart — at $6.9 million.

• Renovating Taylor Middle School and moving Head Start, the Warrenton senior center and offices from the community center. Southeastern Alternative School also might move to Taylor.

The plan could result in about 200 fewer students attending middle school in the Town of Warrenton and less bussing for students, hundreds of whom would attend middle schools closer to their homes.

The plan remains subject to both boards’ approval.

Mr. Granger said he hopes the two boards can agree on the basic plan within a month. If the boards reach consensus, it remains unknown when construction might start.

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