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Jonesborough school gets OK to move forward


Staff Writer

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At a special called meeting Tuesday night, the Board of Mayor and Alderman unanimously approved the inter-local amendments, design, guaranteed maximum price and application for any additional funding needed for the new Jonesborough school.

Parents, citizens and officials all gathered at Town Hall on Sept. 28 to witness the BMA’s approval for the much-anticipated project.

“I am pleased to have designed a building for the 21st Century,” Vice-Mayor Adam Dickson said. “I am glad we can introduce kids to agriculture and the arts and make it a focus at an early age. I am hopeful we are preparing kids for the workforce and developing and shaping youth to grow.”

A $10 million increase in cost, due to supply-and-demand challenges during the pandemic was accepted earlier in the week by the Washington County Board of Education, Washington County Commission and, finally, the Board of Mayor and Alderman.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $45 million.

“I am impressed with how everyone worked together,” Alderman Terry Countermine said. “Different entities made this happen.”

According to Countermine, it took the BOE, County Commission and BMA all working together to get the necessary parts for the project in place.

“The cooperation with the Town, county and school board is important for the future,” Mayor Chuck Vest said. “I want to thank Bob Browning, Ken Ross Architects and Clark Nexen for the excellent job and great design for the school project.”

According to Town Attorney Jim Wheeler, with all on-board, including owner’s representative Tommy Burleson of Burleson Development, application for construction of the new school can begin.

“We will apply for the $10 million through rural development authorities to begin construction,” Town Attorney Jim Wheeler said.

The point person for the application process is former town administrator Bob Browning.

“The last $10 million could be 1 1/2 to 2 years away,” Wheeler said. “And I wouldn’t count on supply costs decreasing.”

The hope for a new school began in 2016.

“It was a team effort to make this happen,” Countermine said. “And it was a great team.”