In a Metro story Wednesday about a meeting of the Arlington School Board, Margaret Heckard, Frank K. Wilson and Dorothy H. Stambaugh were misidentified. Heckard is the spokeswoman for the county school system, and Wilson recently replaced Stambaugh as the chairman of the school board. (Published 7/24/87)
RICHMOND, JULY 21 -- Arlington school officials, facing an estimated $66 million in necessary improvements to the county's aging school buildings, said today they will assemble a citizens committee to develop public support for a proposed November 1988 referendum to finance the overhaul.
"We need a broad-based committee of citizens working to support this massive political campaign," said School Board Chairwoman Dorothy H. Stambaugh.
The board is planning to spread the $66 million for renovation over 20 years.
County School Board members, meeting here to attend the Governor's Convention on Education today and Wednesday, also tentatively approved the hiring of a financial consultant and planning engineer to aid in the improvement program. "We'd be foolish to spend the kind of dollars we're going to spend without some technical expertise," said School Board Vice Chairman Frank Wilson.
Both personnel decisions must be approved by the School Board in the fall.
"There is a 99.9 percent chance that there will be a referendum next year," said Margaret Heckard, the Arlington County Board's spokeswoman.
It would be Arlington's first school-related bond referendum in more than a decade. The last two referendums relating to schools, in 1973 and 1975, were defeated.
Superintendent Arthur W. Gosling warned the board that public participation could turn into "a citizen wish list" that could delay progress. "I'm uncomfortable sending a blank check to people telling them to lay all their wishes on us," he said.
In other action, board members said their first priority for the year will be improving the performance of minority pupils. Test scores in Arlington have shown a wide gap between black and white classmates.