By MARINA WATERS
The Jonesborough community will kick off the new year in celebration of the upcoming Jonesborough School project.
The Jonesborough School celebration is planned for Wednesday, Jan. 8, at the McKinney Center in Jonesborough. The event, hosted by the Town of Jonesborough, was created to honor the community members as well as school, town and county officials who have had a hand in the Jonesborough K-8 school project.
“More than anything, this event is to show some appreciation to the dedication of the parents who have kind of kept this dream alive,” Jonesborough Mayor Chuck Vest told the Herald & Tribune. “But it’s also to show the community that our county commissioners and school board can come together to do something for our community. The county commission and the school board have been back and forth (over the school project) and to see them come together with the Town of Jonesborough, I think that’s something we should all recognize as a community.”
Vest said he and Washington County Mayor Joe Grandy will speak at the event as well as either the chairman of the Washington County School Board, Keith Ervin, or the Washington County Director of Schools, Bill Flanary, as well as a couple of parents. The event will also feature a performance by David Crockett’s Madrigal Singers and a dance number from Jonesborough Elementary School’s Physical Education Class Dance Unit. The Jonesborough Middle School basketball team will also be featured.
In August, The Town of Jonesborough unveiled a proposal to build a new K-8 school in Jonesborough, which the county would then lease from the town. The plan also includes building athletic and community recreational facilities on the 48-acre tract on North Cherokee Street in Jonesborough. The school board approved the plan in August, followed by the county commission in October.
The next step in the process will be starting the design committee meetings for the project once the town appoints its members to the joint committee, Vest said.
The design committee will include school board members Todd Ganger, Mary Beth Dellinger, Phillip McLain, Jonesborough teacher Jan Allen, School Maintenance Supervisor Phillip Patrick, Washington County Mayor Joe Grandy, Washington County Commissioner Jodi Jones, Jonesborough Mayor Chuck Vest, Town Administrator Bob Browning and two citizens of Jonesborough (one of whom with a child who is a current student at one of the Jonesborough schools).
Vest said the town plans to appoint its members in January and the first official meeting for the design committee will likely be set for February.
As for the community involvement and support for the project, Vest said he hopes to see plenty of that continued in the new year, starting with the Jan. 8 celebration.
“We encourage the community to come out whether you have kids at the school or not,” Vest said. “The community coming together to do something so important for Jonesborough — it’s a good reason to celebrate.”