Pocahontas School Superintendent Discusses School Facility Issues

Recently we sat down with Pocahontas County School Superintendent Terrence Beam who wanted to let the public know about the ongoing school building maintenance issues and how the Board of Education is seeking to resolve them.

“I want to take this opportunity to talk a little bit about some facility issues we are dealing with” said Beam. “Our buildings are getting older by the day and the upkeep is getting more expensive all the time. We’ve got some major issues we’ve been able to address, but we’ve still got a lot of issues to go. In the last two years we’ve applied to the School Building Authority (SBA) in Charleston for some money to do some renovations at Pocahontas County High School and at Green Bank. Well, last year we received about a million dollars to do some renovations at the high school, which are being done now by replacing the sewerage system, also the water tank and some renovations on the Vocational Building,

Last summer we were granted approximately a half a million dollars to renovate Green Bank (School.) We asked for a million dollars but we only received a half a million, And some of the things that’s going to be done at that school is there is a foundation issue that needs to be addressed, there’s a fire alarm system that needs to be replaced and there is a sprinkler system that needs to be replaced, among other things, We asked for money to replace the roof, but we were not successful in getting the money for that.

With an MIP (SBA Major Improvement Project) you are only allowed to apply once a year, no more than a million dollars and only for one school. So, every year we are faced with the decision of which school has the most pressing need. A lot of our schools have pressing needs, so it becomes really difficult to make that decision. We will be sitting down with the Principals and Mr. Hall, our Maintenance Director, in the near future to determine what we will apply for next summer with another Major Improvement Project through the SBA, again it can only be for one school and it can only be for a million dollars. We may very well not ask for a full million dollars because every time you ask for the maximum amount, there is always the possibility of them not funding the complete amount, which is what happened last summer, and then the SBA makes the decision on what projects you actually fund. When we sent in our MIP for Green Bank last year, we listed several things that needed to be done, and they choose what things needed to be done the most. We very well may have chosen that the roof was the most important issue, but we were never given that opportunity. So, one thing we may have to consider for next summer is going back to the SBA and asking for the money to replace the roof at Green Bank. It may not be, there may be another school with a more pressing need that we will ask the SBA to consider funding for.”

Be sure to stay tuned to Allegheny Mountain Radio for part 2 of this story where Mr. Beam talks about next years Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan or CEFP, which is an every ten-year requirement of the State which will require public meetings and input.

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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