CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. (WDVM) — With projected population growth in West Virginia’s eastern panhandle, Jefferson County officials are making plans for more schools.

It is one of only three counties in the entire state in need of more classrooms. The West Virginia School Building Authority will be drawing on a $7.5 million grant to start the projects with additional financing coming from the sale of bonds.

Jefferson County Commission President Steve Stolipher says he is encouraged by the growth of the county, but some of the capital improvement funds will go to upgrading facilities at existing sites.

“We saw a very steady increase in population in Jefferson County,” Stolipher said. “We experienced some peaks and valleys over the years. Right now we’re going through a growth trend here in the county.”

Stolipher says county Economic Development Director Dennis Jarvis deserves recognition for his work landing many new jobs in Jefferson County.