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WPS May Have to Delay Some Innovation Center Plans

14 December 2018 Winchester Frederick County News

During its Monday meeting, the Winchester School Board discussed a shortfall in its budget for two major renovation projects: the conversion of the Douglas School into school administration offices, and the renovation of the former John Kerr Elementary School to create the Emil and Grace Shihadeh Innovation Center.

Winchester Public Schools is short an estimated $2 million for the two projects. During a phone interview Thursday (12/14/2018), Superintendent Jason Van Heukelum said that the Innovation Center in particular was intended to be both a public and private funding effort, and that WPS is hoping to make up the difference through private mechanisms. If Winchester Public Schools is unable to raise the $2 million privately, they may have to delay the third phase of the Innovation Center project, which would mean holding off on its planned technology academy. They would, however, still be able to complete its health sciences and academies with existing funds.

For now, the board has approved a Request for Partnership Proposal so that it can begin weighing bids from construction vendors for the project. Van Heukelum said Thursday that they are aiming to declare a winner sometime in March.

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