The West Virginia Board of Education approved a resolution in support of the sustainability of the Cedar Lakes Conference Center during its monthly meeting Jan. 8.
Earlier this year, Cedar Lakes was slated for closure when the WVBE determined that it could no longer continue to request financial support from the West Virginia Legislature to support daily operations.
"The WVBE, the Cedar Lakes Foundation and the entire Jackson County community recognize the economic and social value in the continued and expanded use of the Cedar Lakes Conference Center," said WVBE President Gayle Manchin. "The board had to make some tough financial decisions earlier this year. Our choice was not meant to diminish the value of Cedar Lakes but to fulfill our need to dedicate limited funding to classroom instruction. I am glad all of the stakeholders were able to find a way to save Cedar Lakes."
Cedar Lakes was established several decades ago and placed under the West Virginia Board of Education. The location is utilized by student groups, as well as community members, and offers lodging, meeting facilities and recreational facilities. Cedar Lakes provides lodging -- both hotel and dormitory style, swimming, crafting courses, meeting facilities and dining services. Cedar Lakes is operated by the West Virginia Department of Education.
The resolution solidifies a plan developed by the Cedar Lakes Foundation to reimagine the facility. The Cedar Lakes Foundation plan transfers the property from the WVBE to the foundation. The Cedar Lakes Foundation also agreed to address personnel issues to protect current staff while transitioning toward a market based pay scale for new employees. The Cedar Lakes Foundation committed to develop a five-year financial plan, which will lead to the self-reliance of the center and generate a savings of over three million dollars to West Virginia taxpayers.
Before the facility is officially signed over to the Cedar Lakes Foundation in July 2015, it must agree to maintain the original mission for education enrichment at the center. The transfer of property must also be endorsed and approved by the governor, the West Virginia Legislature and, if necessary, the West Virginia Board of Public Works.