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Local leaders have done the work for Jonesborough

It has felt a bit like a waiting game. Throughout the past three years, when you’d see the Jonesborough School discussion in its many forms pop up (once again) on a Washington County Board of Education meeting agenda or that of the county’s Health, Education and Welfare Committee, you’d start to wonder just what the upcoming sure-to-be-lengthy discussion would bring.

Will there be more questions than answers? Will it be a less-than-positive outlook on the possibility of Jonesborough ever getting a new school? Is the money there? Will the project be dissolved altogether?

Those have all been very real possibilities — that is, until the last few months.

When the Town of Jonesborough presented its proposal to build a new Jonesborough K-8 school and work with the Washington County Commission and the Washington County Board of Education, the discussion was flipped.

Jonesborough Mayor Chuck Vest said at the time he hoped the town could offer a “new voice” in the long, drawn-out discussion of the project.

That’s precisely what happened.

For this, the town should be applauded. But maybe even more so, the town, the school board and county commission should be applauded for continuing the work which led to the project’s approval from all three parties.

The community had seen its share of discussions and what-if scenarios, but just a few months ago, it finally started seeing a new sort of work being done. It seemed a cloud had moved out of the way and life had once again been breathed into the project.

More than simply the proposal of a new school at a new site, the Jonesborough School project has offered hope. And that has been enough to inspire all three parties to come together.

We know the work’s far from finished. And if we’ve learned one thing throughout this process, it’s been that it’s not over until it’s over. We know it will take continued collaboration and understanding from all three parties to get the job done. It will take support from the community and a continued hope that first grew from the town’s unprecedented proposal.

But we also know that’s enough to fuel any project to completion.