The Greenbrier Valley Advisory of Board of the New River Community and Technical College Foundation met in special session Oct. 28, and voted to pursue the recommendation of the college’s Board of Governors that they file an interpleader in the case of the contested $1 million given to the College by the County Commission last year to renovate the pool area of the Arts and Science Building located on the Greenbrier Valley Campus in Lewisburg.
The Board of Governors voted in a special meeting on Oct. 14 not to return any additional funds to the Commission. New River had previously returned $300,000 of the original $1.3 million they had received for the project.
Following that meeting, Dr. L. Marshall Washington, president of New River, subsequently sent a letter to the Foundation board stating:
“The College does not waive its claim to any sum associated with this matter, including the $1,000,000 provided pursuant to the Nov. 13, 2013 meeting of the Greenbrier County Commission at this time.”
Approximately five years ago, the Greenbrier County Commission approached New River Community and Technical College requesting assistance in renovating the swimming pool located in the former student activities building of Greenbrier College for use of the citizens of Greenbrier County. After long discussions, on Jan. 21, 2011, New River agreed to lease 9,500 square feet of the building to the Greenbrier County Commission to accommodate this request.
Although no renovations have been made to the pool portion of the building, New River has expended money on planning, architectural design and the infrastructure of the Arts and Science building in anticipation that the pool would be renovated and operated by the County as outlined in the lease agreement. After a lawsuit filed by concerned citizens earlier this year, a judge ruled that the funds from the hotel/motel tax that the County had given to the college to pay for the pool renovation could not legally be used for that purpose because the county does not own the building.
The college subsequently offered to deed the portion of the building containing the pool to the county so that the funds could be legally expended. The County Commission turned down this offer, and on July 10, cancelled the lease with New River, expiring at the end of the required 30 day period, Aug. 31.
Requests to meet formally with the County Commission to discuss reimbursement to the college for expenses that have been incurred have been turned down. President L. Marshall Washington did meet with one commissioner, but to no avail. At their Oct. 28 meeting, the Foundation Board voted unanimously to file an interpleader with the Circuit Court in Raleigh County. By filing an interpleader, the college will place the funds in the hands of the court to settle the issue.