Improve Schools In St. Clairsville

Proponents of an expensive plan to build new St. Clairsville-Richland schools had to have been shocked by the margin by which their plan was rejected by voters on Nov. 6.

Unofficial returns showed a proposed $79.9 million bond issue to fund the construction was defeated by vote of 4,904-1,896.

Nearly three of every four voters rejecting the proposal does not mean most St. Clairsville-area residents do not want the best schools they can afford, of course. It means only that the vast majority viewed the plan as extravagantly expensive.

“The need is still there,” commented school Superintendent Walt Skaggs after the election. He added that supporters of new schools planned to “seek feedback from the community, and then we’ll go from there.”

Good. Getting community opinion should not be difficult. In fact, Bill Brooks, one of the leaders of a grassroots organization that opposed the levy, was quick to offer his group’s aid in a plan “to build something reasonable for our children.”

It is to be hoped that during the new year, hard feelings over the levy election can be put aside in the goal of developing a consensus on new school facilities. If that is not done, no proposal can succeed.

Both those who advocated for and those who opposed the bond plan last year simply must work together on an alternative — and it needs to be developed in a very public manner. Surely a better plan for St. Clairsville-area children can be developed soon this year.


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