Pocahontas Co. Board of Ed. Approves Renovation Bid for New Board Office

At their December 18th meeting, the Pocahontas County Board of Education approved a Phase 1 and a Phase 2 Bid from Taylor Construction & Trucking, LLC to renovate the recently purchased building located at 412 Old Buckeye Road which will be the future Board of Education Office.

Prior to the vote on this, Jay Miller spoke out during the Delegations portion of the meeting about the renovations to the new building. Here Miller says that Federal labor laws prohibit the use of volunteer off duty employees to paint the building.

“Mr. Beam was quoted in the paper last week as saying that school employees will volunteer their own time to paint their offices” said Miller. “And I just want to let you know, if you don’t already, that it’s illegal for non-exempt employees –which would be everyone in the Board Office with the exception of Mr. Beam and the Administrators – to donate their time and work off the clock, even if they want to and are not asked to by management.”

Miller further reminded the Board that they are required to follow State contracting rules when signing a contract for the renovations. Miller pointed out that the bids about to be approved by the Board do not meet State contracting rules because they lack start and completion dates for the project, do not break down the bid price into labor costs and the cost of materials, do not specify contracting officials, and do not require a performance bond, among other irregularities.

Following his report to the Board, Mr. Beam responded to Miller. He clarified that the Agenda item to be voted on at this meeting is not a contract with Taylor Construction; it is only the approval of Taylor’s bid proposal.

“I just want to point out one thing about (agenda) Item #13” said Beam. “Item # 13 is only a bid proposal, it is not a contract.”

You can find a copy of the approved bid proposals by Taylor Construction on our website with this story.

In his Superintendent’s Report to the Board, Mr. Beam said he met with Denise Campbell just before Thanksgiving. Campbell is the Community Liaison for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Campbell said she will try to address the Board at their January 22nd meeting to talk about the pipeline and some possible “money making” opportunities for the Board of Education related to the pipeline. Beam also said that Joanna Bert-Kinderman has informed him that Nicholas County and Grant County are sending math teams here in January to learn how the Pocahontas County Math Program has achieved so much success.

Hunter Tankersly, the Student Representative to the Board gave his report to the Board, which included these remarks.

“So this is my last meeting as the primary Student Representative” Hunter said. “After this meeting, Hunter Wilfong will be taking over as the primary, and I will sub-in. I just want to let you guys know I really appreciated the opportunity to be here. I’ve learned a lot about public speaking –how to express my opinions and other people’s opinions. I’ve learned how to listen to things before actually saying things. And I am really appreciative for getting the opportunity to be here.”

Hunter went on to thank Principal Joe Riley for selecting him to be one of the representatives.

The Board pulled the approval of the locally approved CTE concentrations from this agenda after Emily McLaughlin; the Options Pathway Teacher at PCHS told them they had designed a more comprehensive list of these concentrations. Those new ones will be taken up at a future Board Meeting.

The Board also approved the following short personnel agenda:

  1. Karrie Jack as an itinerant Special Education Classroom Aide/Bus Aide – a long term substitute position. Note the person to be hired for this position has not yet been added to the published agenda, but will be reported on following the meeting.
  2. Charles Young as a Principal Mentor as needed at $20.00 per hour retroactive to the beginning of the school year. This is paid for by Title II funds.

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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