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December 8, 2004

Legislators Visit VSDB

From: WHSV, VA - Dec 8, 2004

Staunton Mike Mueller

Plans to consolidate Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind in Staunton and Hampton have caused concern in the valley. But some hope arrived late yesterday morning.

House delegates Chris Saxman and Steve Landis toured the Staunton school with Speaker of the House Bill Howell. Their intent was to better inform the speaker on the school.

"To be perfectly candid I wasn't that up on this issue before I came," said Howell, "and the people here make a very compelling case."

That case... to consolidate the schools but leave VSDB up and running.

"Everything that's in the report in building a brand new facility we already have," says Delegate Chris Saxman, "so why would you want to go build a brand new one when we already have it right here in the Staunton."

Saxman also stressed the importance of the valuable and unique educational opportunities here in the valley, saying "that's part of our education is to be able to to go downtown and go to restaraunts and shop and to have the opportunity to interact on a regular basis.]

After the tour finished, Speaker Howell said he now has a better understanding about the whole situation.

"I think the bigger issue is where we're going to put the consolidated school, says Howell "and to me it makes perfect sense to utilize this facility.]

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