9/13/2017 - Ritchie County school officials are expected to make personnel and educational program cuts, in light of last weekend's special election, which saw a $9.9 million school bond rejected.

Superintendent Rick Coffman said he and board members met Monday night to review more than 20 potential cuts.

The bond would have helped finance improvements to the county's high school and middle school.

It also would have triggered the consolidation of three elementary schools: Harrisville Elementary School, Ellenboro Elementary, and Creed Collins Elementary School in Pennsboro.

The district has been plagued by financial difficulties, a combination of declining enrollment, a dip in tax revenue collections, and the costs to operate and maintain aging facilities. Coffman said:

"What a missed opportunity to significantly help the current and future students and staff members of Ritchie County Schools. Recent failure of the school bond forces the continued operation and maintenance of too many old school facilities. Unfortunately, these enormous costs will force more personnel cuts and the loss of more important educational programs. In the end, the students of Ritchie County will be the ones who will continue to suffer."

9/10/2017 - Ritchie County residents rejected a school bond on Saturday that would have funded millions of dollars worth of school construction and other upgrades.

The vote on the proposed $9.9 million school bond was 981 against and 777 in favor.

Had the bond passed, Ritchie County School Superintendent Rick Coffman says it's likely the West Virginia School Building Authority would have contributed an additional $8.8 million.

The bond would have allowed the school district to go forward with with plans to consolidate three of the county's four elementary schools - Harrisville, Ellenboro and Creed Collins - into one new facility in Ellenboro.

It also would have allowed improvements to the Ritchie County High School and Middle School.

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