Morgantown Community Discusses Future of Woodburn Elementary Sch - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Morgantown Community Discusses Future of Woodburn Elementary School

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MORGANTOWN -

After more than 100 years, Woodburn Elementary will officially close this April. Some people want to know what will go in its place once it's closed.

The Morgantown community is meeting for Woodburn Visioning Workshops to discuss what the building will be used for.

"It's a critical piece of property and it's something we just can't let go as a community," said Chris Haddox, a member of the Woodburn Reuse Study Committee. "These kinds of properties don't become available that often and when they do you have to jump on them."

Four acres including a main building, Kindergarten modules and a playground make up the property.

The principal of the school said she'll leave ideas up to the experts but wants the building to be treated with the respect it deserves.

"It's a grand old building. So many memories have gone through this building," said Charlene Brown, the Woodburn Elementary School Principal. "I hear from people who say my grandmother went here and I went here. It's a terrific building."

The city has the opportunity to buy the building from the Board of Education in April.

Chris Haddox believes it's not a question if they should buy the building but what should be done with it once they do.

"It's four acres in the heart of a downtown neighborhood," said Haddox. "We just spent over $200,000 on a comprehensive planning process saying we need to have open spaces, and green spaces and community spaces and services within our neighborhoods. We've exported a lot of value."

A planning session is will bring ideas to the City Council Tuesday.

"As part of the West Virginia Redevelopment Collaborative we will continue to work on this as we hone these ideas. We'll start going, that seems like a good idea, who are potential funders and who are potential partners. That's part of the idea, we've got to get the general seed of an idea then we need to think who's going to be around the table if we're going to go that route," said Chris Haddox, of the Woodburn Reuse Committee.

The building would cost the city $490,000.