Left to right, Mayor Chuck Vest, BOE Chair Keith Ervin, Director of Schools Bill Flanary and Mayor Joe Grandy sign the school agreement surrounded by school board members and county commissioners. (Photo by Marina Waters)

By MARINA WATERS

Staff Writer

[email protected]

Washington County, The Town of Jonesborough and the Washington County Board of Education’s leaders took the next step in the Jonesborough School project by signing the lease and inter-local agreement on Tuesday, Nov. 19.

The town and the school board approved the plan in August while the Washington County Commission approved the lease-purchase arrangement and inter-local agreement on Oct. 28.

“After 90 days of negotiations and steadfast review, it is a great thing to know we are ready to sign off on this creative project that will have a tremendous impact on our county’s children,” Washington County Mayor Joe Grandy said. “Additionally, top-notch schools always impact economic development, and we are proud to add another one to the mix in Washington County.”

The town’s school plan includes constructing and then leasing to the county a new K-8 school building, as well as athletic facilities to be located on a 48-acre tract on North Cherokee Street in Jonesborough. At the end of the lease, the school board would own the building. The athletic facilities, however, would continue to be maintained and owned by the town.

At the county commission’s Monday, Nov. 25 meeting, the commission will appoint members to the design committee for the new Jonesborough School.

That committee will include Grandy, Jonesborough Mayor Chuck Vest, one county commissioner, Town Administrator Bob Browning, three BOE members, an administrator or teacher from either Jonesborough Middle or Jonesborough Elementary, a representative of the school system’s facilities maintenance staff and two citizens of Jonesborough (one of which with a child who is a current student at one of the Jonesborough schools).

An event celebrating the Jonesborough School project is also soon to be scheduled. Vest said at the Nov. 19 signing that the event for the Jonesborough School students is tentatively set to take place at the McKinney Center in Jonesborough.