Grim Report About the physical State of Pocahontas County School Buildings
At the September 14th meeting, the Pocahontas County School Board heard a depressing report from Ronald Hall, the Director of Maintenance for the Pocahontas County School System. Hall assessed the overall condition of the school buildings.
“The Schools are wore out – and I know they look good because we got really good custodians- but our schools are wore out- in a nut shell” said Hall. “All the infrastructure of the schools- the plumbing, the sewers and all that stuff is wore out. And these sprinkler systems, those are dry systems and they have pipes that you can run your finger through because of the corrosiveness of the waters. All the boards on the alarm systems are old and outdated – just wearing out. I talked to the architects about the High School and they said ‘yeah, the High schools wore out. They said there’s some good things about it but it’s wore out too. The life span of a school is about 50 years.”
It was pointed out that one of the frustrating things about the situation is trying to convince the public about how badly the schools need replacing when they look so good on the outside, but the problems with the schools are not easy to spot by just looking at them.
Hall detailed some of the problems at various schools. He said Hillsboro Elementary is not in bad shape, and they just put air conditioners in the classrooms. Marlinton Elementary School’s plumbing and sprinkler system are basically “done” according to Hall. The Alarm System there is so old that if any problems develop there are no replacement parts available, and it’s “only a matter of time before a pipe blows” despite all the repairs and parches that have been done there. Green Bank School has similar problems.
Hall talked about the problems with the drinking water tower at the High School which had been repainted inside and out this summer.
“The water tank has been a nightmare to the point that somebody contacted the State today and said that the smell was strong in it” Hall said. “I went up today and crawled in that water tank, and none of that is true. And it will be 15-20 years before we have to do it again. “
Ron says that as of tomorrow they would no longer be using bottled water at the school.
“Tomorrow we will be switching to a different tank – it’s a 2000 gallon tank that that company brought in for us- and it’s been treated. We will leave the water fountains open overnight to bleed off anything that’s in those” said Ron.
Ron talked about the cause of the problem with the tank.
“We think what happened is we had a leak in one of our valves and water backed up and laid in the bottom of that thing which kept it from curing because of the moisture in there so we have to work on that valve to get the water from backing up into the tank until we can get it cured good. To the best of my knowledge, everything looks good in that tank. ” Ron said.
In other actions:
The Board heard from Sam Gibson who offered to establish a scholarship program for PCH seniors.
The Board gave final approval to the new policy on Board of Education Meetings. The most significant change is that there will no longer be hear callers at the meeting. In the future, citizens who wish to address the Board must submit a written summary their topic to the board at least 30 minutes prior to the meeting. These will be called “Delegations” rather than “Hear Callers” and they will be allotted 10 minutes rather than the 5 minutes Hear Callers used to be allowed to speak.
The Board approved the usual financial statements, vender payments, several Grant Awards and several field trips. They also approved a new 15 year lease with the Pocahontas Free Libraries for the Hillsboro Library building.
The Board approved the creation of an elective Astronomy and an elective Computer Science course as well as the syllabus for each.
They approved a bid from Heritage International Trucks to purchase one new School Bus at a cost of $89,998.
They approved Patrick “Cully” McCurdy as a volunteer Assistant Soccer Coach, Jean O. Srodes as a volunteer Golf Sponsor at Marlinton Middle School and Devan Simmons as a volunteer Cheerleading Coach at the High School.
They approved a memorandum of understandings regarding the Head Start Program and one with The WV Department of Education about “Graduation 20/20”.
They approved personnel actions which can be found on our website –alleghenymountainradio.org., but voted to not approve the creation of the position of Seasonal Athletic Coordinator for 7th and 8th grade at the High School.
All of the below personnel actions were approved by the Board of Education at their September 14th meeting EXCEPT FOR THE CREATION OF THE POSITION “Seasonal Athletic Coordinator for Soccer/7th and 8th Grade Football/Football at PCH (as noted below).
September 14, 2015
Professional and Service Personnel
Green Bank Elementary-Middle School:
EMPLOYMENT: AMANDA NOTTINGHAM, as Teacher of Multi-Subjects/Social Studies at Green Bank Elementary – Middle School, at state basic salary based on degree and experience, effective September 15, 2015 for the remainder of the 2015-2016 school year, term of employment is 175 day. (NOTE: Term of employment shall be 200 days each year thereafter.)
Marlinton Elementary School/Marlinton Middle School:
PURCHASE OF PLANNING PERIOD: TIMOTHY JOSHUA CORDER, as Teacher of Music at Marlinton Elementary School/Marlinton Middle School, retroactive to the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year at daily rate of pay.
Pocahontas County High School:
EMPLOYMENT: JUSTIN M. KERR, as Teacher of Welding at Pocahontas County High School, at state basic salary based on degree and experience, effective September 16, 2015 for the remainder of the 2015-2016 school year, term of employment is 174 days. (NOTE: Term of employment shall be 200 days each year thereafter.)
EMPLOYMENT: PATRICK DUANE GIBSON, as Mentor for Justin M. Kerr, effective September 16, 2015 for the remainder of the 2015-2016 school year at a supplement of $1,000.
CREATION OF POSITION: Seasonal Athletic Coordinator for Soccer/7th & 8th Grade Football/Football at Pocahontas County High School, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, at a supplement of $750. (NOTE: Position pending on sufficient number of players to make a team.) – NOTE: THIS CREATION OF POSITION WAS REJECTED BY A VOTE OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION
Pocahontas County Schools:
REQUESTED TRANSFER: ANNE M. SMITH, from Teacher of Science at Green Bank Elementary – Middle School, to Itinerant Teacher of Special Education (LD, BD, MI)/Autism for Pocahontas County Schools (assignment: Green Bank Elementary – Middle School), at state basic salary based on degree and experience, effective October 21, 2015 for the remainder of the 2015-2016 school year. The contract will be for 200 days in the 2016-2017 school year.
RESIGNATION: MELINDA F. BUSSARD, as Substitute Aide and Substitute Cook for Pocahontas County Schools, retroactive to August 31, 2015.
EMPLOYMENT: KARRIE JACK, as Itinerant Special Education Classroom/Bus Aide for Pocahontas County Schools (assignment: Marlinton Elementary School), at state basic pay, effective September 16, 2015 for the remainder of the 2015-2016 school year, term of employment is 174 days. (NOTE: Term of employment shall be 200 days each year thereafter.)
EMPLOYMENT: Of the following as Substitute Teacher for Pocahontas County Schools, effective September 16, 2015 (or upon completion of the RESA Online Substitute Training Program, if applicable) for the remainder of the 2015-2016 school year, as needed, at state basic pay:
Sarah A. Eves
Andrew G. Pritt
LyAnn B. Zelinsky
EMPLOYMENT: JAMIE C. WALKER, as Substitute Maintenance for Pocahontas County Schools, effective September 16, 2015 for the remainder of 2015-2016 school year, emergency use only, at state basic pay.
EMPLOYMENT: KAREN WHITEHOUSE, as Substitute Cook for Pocahontas County Schools, effective September 16, 2015, as needed, for the remainder of the 2015-2016 school year, at state basic pay.