Pocahontas BOE approves Hillsboro cafeteria design

Marlinton, W.Va. – During Monday evening’s Pocahontas County Board of Education meeting, Schools Superintendant C.C. Lester commends faculty and students for improved test scores.

“In 2007 and 2008, our math scores were 38th in the state and our reading scores was 46th,” he said. “In 2008-2009, we were 33rd; 2009-2010, we were 35th, and 2010-2011, 25th; 2011-2012, 17th. I think that’s quite an accomplishment for our faculty and our students of our system. Pocahontas County, this year, was 13th in the state. So, I think that’s quite an accomplishment for a county this size, without a bond or levy. I think the teachers are doing a great job. I think the students are doing a great job. I’d just like to commend the whole staff and faculty of this county.”

Lester said he was working on a Teacher Residence Program, which would allow university students to complete a teaching residency program in Pocahontas schools.

Alpha Associates architect Matt Breakey briefed the board with blueprints and a budget for construction of a new cafeteria at Hillsboro School. Breakey says the design is not extravagant.

“Based on the size of the addition and what you’re putting in here – the budget – it’s not extravagant at all,” he said. “It’s life safety. I mean, it’s keeping the kids from going outside.”

The total budget for the project is $1.4 million. The architect said actual costs would not be known until bids are received, but estimated that the design is $70,000 over-budget.

Board president Emery Grimes asks Lester if the board has enough money on-hand to pay the extra cost, if necessary, and Lester responds.

“Here’s the bottom line,” he said. “Once we approve this design, you know, we’re going to have to come up with $78,000 if somebody don’t. Do we have $78,000 in carryover funds – if we had to put it up tomorrow, could we?”

“I believe it’s there,” Lester said. “Yes, sir. We will.”
Board treasurer Alice Irvine says the new building will save the board money in the long term.

“We’re obviously going to save some money, without having to heat that old cafeteria,” she said. “Because that’s got your single-pane windows. We’re going to save some money doing renovations in there – that we’re going to have to do – because the roof has to be repaired. I mean, there’s going to be some savings moving out of there.”

Grimes says the board stands to receive more than $200,000 from the sale of land in Green Bank.

“$207,000 – at $3,000 an acre,” he said. “But now, I don’t know whether it would bring that or not. It depends. And we need to get that cruised. I mean, that’s the bottom line. If we don’t cruise it and just sell the land and the timber, we’re losing money.”

The board voted unanimously to accept Alpha’s current architectural design and budget. The project schedule calls for awarding of the construction contract on February 18 and final completion on September 18, 2013.

The board approved hiring Dervine Lambert as welding teacher; Cindy L. White as substitute teacher; and Corey White and Sherry Ratliff as substitute cook/substitute custodian.

In other business, the board:
– approved a memorandum of understanding with the North Central Community Action Head Start Program.
– approved purchase of a Tradesman package for the maintenance truck, not to exceed $3,500.
– approved payment of bills totaling $29,848 and,
– tabled action on a professional leave policy.

The next regular Pocahiontas County BOE meeting is scheduled for December 10 at 7 p.m. The board will conduct a faculty senate/local school improvement council meeting on December 3, 7 p.m. at Marlinton Middle School.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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