Pocahontas Board Of Education Votes to Accept SBA Funds to Repair High School

The WV School Building authority –or SBA- awarded $925,443 earlier this summer in the form of a Major Improvement Project to replace the sewer system and water tower at the High School, and to make other repairs or replacements at the school’s Vocational Building. At the July 31st Pocahontas County Board of Education meeting, the Board voted to officially accept the SBA award and to sign the project contract with the SBA.

However, before that vote, School Superintendent Terrence Beam quoted portions of the SBA contract because people have alleged that the Board would likely misspend or misdirect any SBA money they received.

Beam said SBA contracts require that the funds will be held in a bank account titled the “Project Fund” to be dispersed only at the direction of the SBA, and any interest earned on that account goes to the SBA, not the School Board.

Beam also quoted other portions of the agreement:

“Section 5, it says the County Board hereby covenants and agrees to use the proceeds of the grant only for approved expenses for the specific project described on exhibit A-1” read Beam. “The County Board agrees not to submit and request requisitions for expenditures which will not be incurred with respect to the approved project.”

Beam read other portions of the agreement that forbid the Board from using any of the money to Maintain any existing facilities not specifically included in the SBA approved project.

The SBA requires the Board to maintain the Project improvements and such maintenance be subject to future inspections by the State. If these future inspections show that  proper maintenance has not been done,  or if the SBA finds that  any funds were misspent on anything outside of the approved project, the Board would have to refund the entire amount of the award to the SBA, including interest.

Jay Miller addressed the Board, challenging their proposed purchase of a new Board Office. – the old Moose Lodge in Buckeye. Miller told the Board that project planning should include the total cost of the project, work which he alleges will be done at tax payer expense because school maintenance personnel will be used to do painting , electrical and lighting improvements. Miller alleges this contradicts the Superintendent’s statement that no taxpayer money will be spent for the new Board Office.

Director of Transportation Ruth Bland offered Special Recognition to Ian Bennett, the chief Mechanic at the Bus Garage who was named the West Virginia Bus Inspector of the Year by the WV pupil Transportation Association

Beam mentioned that U.S. News and World Report has ranked PCHS 14th in the State among high schools with a graduation rate of 83% and with 25% of its students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses. He also talked his desire to hire an ELA Coach using Title 2 Federal money, but is concerned that Title 2 may not be available in the future so they will wait and see before doing that. Beam also said they were going to enforce rules requiring substitute service personnel to respond at least 50% of the times they are called to report or be dropped from the list.

They also received a Central Office Update and from Ruth Bland, Director of Transportation, who said that the State is now requiring that all bus drivers check and replace the fluids in their buses, and will be trained to do so properly.

The Board examined and approved for payment routine financial matters: such as bills, extra duty pay and the July 22nd payroll.

They also approved a partnership agreement with the County Parks and Recreation Board for the upcoming school year; voted to enter into a WV Pre-K agreement with School Days Child Care; and voted to extend contracts with the Flowers Baking Company for bakery products and with Broughton Foods for Dairy Products.

They approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the Pocahontas County Commission wherein the Board of Education would have use of the building located at 300 Second Avenue, Marlinton for designated athletic practices –mostly Archery and baseball.

They also voted to approval the Student Transportation Policy

The Board voted to approve the Professional and Service Personnel Agenda. This Personnel Agenda can be found along with a copy of the meeting agenda attached to this story at our website; www.alleghenymountainradio.org.


Below is a copy of the meeting agenda which includes the Professional and Service Personnel Agenda which was approved at this meeting. Please note, there was one correction to the Personnel Agenda. Maria McCoy-Hanna’s resignation was effective 8/1/17, not 7/17/17 as it states on the personnel agenda below.

7-31-17 BOE Actual Agenda

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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