W-JCC School Board passes budget, picks construction firm for new middle school

The Williamsburg-James City County School Board unanimously passed Superintendent Steve Constantino's recommended $128.2 million budget for 2016-17 at Tuesday night's School Board meeting. 

Board members acknowledged the final budget was dependent on funding decisions made by the localities, but several said even if they were not fully funded, they wanted to keep in place an average 1.5 percent pay raise for teachers and a realignment of the salary scale.

The board also selected MBP as a construction management firm to oversee the construction of the fourth middle school at the James Blair administrative site. The board voted to approve the $558,300 contract by a three to two vote, with Sandy Young and Holly Taylor both objecting.

During discussion of the construction management contract, Chairman Jim Kelly reminded members that discussion needed to be limited only to the contract and not to the fourth middle school debate in general.

Young, who has been vocal in her opposition to the project, passed out a printed a list of 19 questions she said needed to be answered before the board should approve the contract.

“Are you going to go through all 19 of those questions?” Kelly asked, as Young began to raise questions about the projection numbers being used to justify the project.

Young said the current board is not the one that approved the middle school project and said she would support it more easily if the decision to build was based on a referendum. 

Read more in Saturday's Virginia Gazette.

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