Why WHS work has stopped

After Susie Cornelius spoke, Oconee School district officials addressed questions as to why work on the new Walhalla High School recently stopped. But Dr. Michael Thorsland, assistant superintendent of operations, said the work stoppage is due to the time of the year, explaining that work on the foundation and actual construction of the new school on highway 11 won’t take place until the spring. At last report, the project timetable calls for completion in 2015. Cornelius, speaking during the public comment part of the school board meeting, raised concerns about whether the property chosen for the new school will be adequate to support what’s built there, as well potential harm to groundwater that provides well water. Board of trustees chairman Andy Inabinet said he had not heard anything about the concerns raised by Cornelius. On a related matter raised by Cornelius, Inabinet and other school officials laughed off questions that the district is coming up short on what it’ll need to pay for the project, the construction cost of which is expected to exceed $50 million. Walhalla area trustee Rosemary Bailes admitted that she has heard the rumor that the district has run out of money. Later last night the board approved a bond sale and an agreement for equipment-leasing financing that will help them meet their costs.