The Watauga County Board of Commissioners attended a special meeting on Thursday, June 7, 2007, in the Commissioners’ Board Room at the Watauga County Administration Building, Boone, NC. Those present were: Chairman Deal; Vice-Chairman Winkler, Commissioner Cooper, Commissioner Moretz, County Manager Nelson, and Assistant County Manager Geouque. Others present were as follows: 
  • Seven Devils: Mayor Pro Tem Richard DeMott
  • Blowing Rock: Town Manager Scott Hildebran; Mayor J. B. Lawrence; Mayor Pro Tem Terry Lentz; Council Members Keith Tester, Tommy Klutz, and Rita Wiseman; and Town Clerk Sharon Greene
  • Appalachian State University: Dr. Loren Baumhover
  • Town of Boone:  Mayor Pro Tem Lynne Mason (who left at 4:45 P.M.); Council Members Janet Pepin and Bunk Spann; Town Manager Greg Young; Town Attorney Sam Furgiuele; Public Utilities Director Rick Miller; Police Chief Bill Post; Development Services Director John Spear; Public Works Director Blake Brown; and Deputy Town Clerk Kim Tester
  • Watauga County Board of Education: Assistant Superintendent Mark Hurst; School Board Chairman Lowell Younce; and Council Member Deborah Miller
  • Watauga High School Project Staff: Architect Jennifer Sisak (SfL+a Archietects); and Project Manager Mike Kesterson (James R. Vannoy & Sons Construction)
  • Facilitator Dr. Garry Cooper and Assistant Christy DeStefano
Chairman Deal called the meeting to order at 4:08 p.m. He welcomed all in attendance and turned the floor over to Dr. Garry Cooper. Dr. Cooper began by posing the following focus question relating to the specific topics of the NCDOT Highway 421 project and the proposed Watauga High School project:  What can we do together over the next 4-6 months to facilitate timely design and construction of the new high school and the Highway 421 widening projects in Boone with actions that can benefit most county residents, result in both beautiful and functional facilities, and minimize costs and delays?

Dr. Cooper reviewed the results of the previous retreat, reiterated the meeting guidelines and outlined the agenda for the second retreat. 
Dr. Cooper invited the group to suggest the necessary action steps to achieve these goals. Based on the responses, the group created the following list of action steps:
  1. Meet with the neighborhood regarding a new proposal.
  2. Revise the project plan.
  3. Revise the Town of Boone’s analysis of the application and revised plans.
  4. Approve conditional district zoning.
  5. Release bidding documents.
  6. Review/revise UDO.
  7. Send revised proposal to the Boone Town Council for review prior to its next meeting.
  8. Obtain two commitments from the NCDOT regarding alternative transportation improvements to East King Street and the alignment of Daniel Boone Drive with Highway 194 across Highway 421.
For each issue, Dr. Cooper asked the group to decide the launch issue and to assign each action task to the appropriate time period for achievement. He then asked the group to decide which action will indicate that the goal has been achieved.
Dr. Cooper suggested having one person coordinate the action tasks for the issue of the Highway 421 Widening. Development Services Director John Spear volunteered to oversee the coordination of the action tasks by the necessary parties. With no further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 6:07 p.m.
Jim Deal, Chairman
Deron Geouque, Assistant County Manager