Chris Schulz Published

Voters In Monongalia County Reject New School Bond 

Two lawn signs with opposing positions on a school issue are placed on the same road. To the right of frame, a car is approaching frame. The sign closest to the camera has red and black text on a yellow background that reads "Why Build a New School? Vote NO IT WONT'T FIX OUR SCHOOLS" The sign further from the camera and partially obstructed by a power pole has white text on a blue background with a yellow YES that reads "Vote YES for the Renaissance Academy."
Monongalia County voters decided the fate of a bond measure to fund a new STEM school.
Chris Schulz/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

More than 68 percent of voters in Tuesday’s primary election voted against construction of the Renaissance Academy. In total, 11,578 voted against the bond measure while 5,404 voted in favor, according to unofficial numbers released by the Monongalia County Clerk’s Office. Results will be certified after canvassing May 20.

The proposed public high school would be accessible to all county students and focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM. 

The Monongalia County Schools’ website says “Renaissance Academy’s innovative design and adaptable space will enable students to engage in project-based collaborations with industry partners, receive training in various skilled trades and pursue advanced coursework starting in ninth grade.” 

Monongalia County Schools sought approval to issue more than $140 million in bonds to help cover the close to $160 million cost of construction.

The amount was simply too much for voters like Adam Komisaruk, who expressed concern over the use of public education funds.

“If Morgantown is interested in investing in STEM education, which I think is a laudable goal, then I think it should eliminate the middleman and simply increase funding for public schools,” he said.

The bond could appear on the ballot again during November’s general election.