Owners of the Mast Farm Inn of Valle Crucis have filed a lawsuit against the Watauga Board of Education in an effort to stop the board from purchasing land in Valle Crucis for a new school.

The Watauga Democrat reports Henri Dechamps and Dechamps Holding LLC have filed suit against the Board as well as individual board members to stop purchase of the 14 acre Hodges property as the site of the new Valle Crucis school, siting the board's policy on public comment illegally restricts public speech to the board about acquisition of property.

The suit also says the 1,105,000 purchase price for the Hodges property exceeds fair market value and would constitute a gift of public funds by the board to the property owners. 

The complaint also says the site is unsuitable and inappropriate because it's in a flood-way of the Watauga River.

The Watauga County Board of Education has announced it will hold a work session at 6 p.m on Tuesday evening at Valle Crucis Elementary School gym. The board will hear presentations from their attorney and architect regarding the due diligence evaluation of property currently under contract by the board for the construction of a new school in Valle Crucis. The board invites the public to attend and encourages citizens to participate in the public comment portion of the meeting. This is an informational meeting only and no action will be taken.