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Informational Session Regarding New Valle Crucis School Held This Week, Lawsuit Filed To Stop “Hodges Property” Advancement

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Last Updated on October 28, 2019 6:04 am

The Watauga County Board of Education held a work session at Valle Crucis Elementary School on Tuesday to provide the public with information regarding the proposed building of a new school.

The need for a new school has been in discussion, most recently, in part due to ongoing issues with flooding from Dutch Creek during heavy rain weather events.

In March the Watauga County Board of Education approved a contract to purchase a 14.4 acre tract of land in Valle Crucis for the eventual construction of a new school.   The property, referred to as the “Hodges Property”, is situated along Broadstone Road between the Mast Farm Inn and the Mast Store Annex, approximately one-quarter mile from the existing school.

This marked the second time in recent weeks a meeting was held to present and hear public comments. On September 3rd both the Watauga County Commissioners and Watauga County School Board held a joint meeting.

During the Tuesday night meeting Chris Campbell, of the law firm Campbell & Shatley, gave an overview of the legal considerations related to the due diligence evaluation of the property currently under contract.

Chad Roberson, of the firm Clark Nexson, and Patrick Bradshaw, with the firm Civil Design Concepts, addressed the architectural and engineering considerations.

Following the presentations, the Board took public comments. The Board did not address a current lawsuit to bring a preliminary injunction against a new school on the “Hodges Property” by the owners of The Mast Farm Inn. That lawsuit has been filed by Deschamps Holdings, LLC; Deschamps Enterprises, LLC d/b/a The Mast Farm Inn; Henri Deschamps; Marie-Henriette Deschamps and Danielle Deschamps.

The suit, which was filed October 10th, names the defendants as: Watauga County Board of Education; Ron Henries, Chair of the Watauga County Board of Education; Brenda Reese, Vice-Chair of the Watauga County Board of Education; Dr. Gary Childers; Steve Combs and Dr. Jay Fenwick in their capacity as members of the Watauga County Board of Education.

On Thursday (October 24, 2019) WataugaOnline.com obtained a copy of the 250 page document that details the suit and will update more about it after having time to look it over more thoroughly.

Below is a video of the Tuesday night presentation as recorded by WataugaOnline.com. The 47 slides in the presentation can be found below the video and will open in a new window when clicked on.

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