Staunton City Council to work with schools to find permanent solution for maintenance department

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 11:15 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WVIR) - It’s official, Staunton Crossing will not be used by city schools for a maintenance department. But, Staunton City Council and the School Board agreed to work together to find a permanent solution.

A special meeting Thursday night between City Council, the School Board, and the Economic Development Authority (EDA) started with players talking about building 126 at Staunton Crossing.

The Schools want it for a maintenance department. The EDA wants to tear it down to make Staunton Crossing more marketable to developers. Those positions didn’t change, but the conversation did when they started talking about the safety issues of having a maintenance department housed in the basement at Shelburne Middle School.

Everyone agreed on the urgency to find a new home, even temporarily. Council agreed to work with the Schools to find a permanent solution.

“We’re very committed because right now it’s a safety issue for the children because there’s a lot of fumes coming up through the basement at Shelburne and the classes having to be evacuated because of the fumes,” said Mayor Andrea Oakes. “So anytime you’re dealing with a safety issue with the children we as a community are definitely going to be committed.”

“We should have been doing this a long time ago because all of us have budgets, all of us have goals, but guess what? We’re all Staunton,” stated School Board Chair Ken Venable. “Sit down at the table and then see if we can make some changes. And I think we’ve made excellent progress.”

Staunton City Council and the school board decided they would form a working group to make sure the issue does not get delayed. Members from each body will participate, and they’ll have a timeline for finding a permanent solution.

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