Pocahontas School Superintendent Explains the Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan
Terrence Beam, Superintendent of the Pocahontas County Schools previews for us the first full meeting of the of the CEFP Committee, that occurred on Wednesday evening, May 29th. Beam said that despite lots of publicity about the CEFP, many people still ask him just what it is, and why is it such a big deal, so he explains.
“Tonight, is the first meeting of our entire CEFP Committee” said Beam. “CEFP is the Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan that every county in the state has to adopt every ten years. Basically, it’s a ten-year plain on how each county wants to move forward with the facilities in their school system. The last one was done in 2010; the next one is due in June of 2020. Tonight’s our first general meeting. We have thirty-two committee members that have either signed up or been drafted to participate on the committee. Those thirty-two members will be divided into four different subcommittees of eight each. Suzanne Stewart is our Chairperson; she will pretty much run the meetings after tonight. Matt Breakey and Bill Radcliff from the Thrasher Group are our Architects that will also be helping us. They work with a variety of counties throughout the state. They’ve had a lot of experience helping counties develop the (CEFP) plan itself.”
“Tonight’s meeting will be held at the Auditorium at the High School, and I will start the meeting off by simply welcoming all or our people and giving them an overview of what the Plan should look like. They will get a copy of the 2010 Plan that they can take home and review, so that when they start their committee work they can look and see what ten years ago the same types of committees decided we needed to do in our school system for the past ten years, and how those changes have occurred. And how our needs have changed over the last ten years due to facility problems or drops in enrollment or changes in curriculum that our schools are now required to provide. All those things will be taken into account when a new plain is developed.”
“The most important thing I want the community to know, this committee has thirty-two community members in it -there are some Principals and there are some Board Members and so forth in it, but all the subcommittees will be headed by community members, No Board Member, no Principal, no Central Office person will be the spokesperson for subcommittees. We want community members to do this, because this needs to be a plan that the community supports. And we feet there is a much better chance of this being successful if it is their idea as to what we do. No matter what their decision is; no matter what they want to do with our schools, they are the one who have to live with this, whether it’s their children, or their grand children -this is their community, and they need to make those decisions. They need to have the input as to how we go forward from here. Of course, we will provide input; we’ll provide any data that they need, and we’ll have voices also, but we’re not going to drive this process. The community is going to drive the process. And that is very important. We’re going to provide both the radio and the newspaper a list of the community members, so that people will know who’s on this committee and who they can reach out to for their opinions. We want the public’s opinions! And we want them given to our committee members, because those committee members are interested enough to be involved in this process. They will welcome your input, because they don’t want to make this decision by themselves. They will want to hear what the voices say. We will have periodic general meetings where the subcommittees will report out what they are working on, what they have found, what they are hearing. This process will last for the next twelve months and like I said, on June 30, 2020, we have to submit our plan to the State Department for approval.”
Keep listening to Allegheny Mountain Radio for part 2 of Pocahontas County School Superintendent Terrence Beam’s report to you, our listeners. In that second part, Mr. Beam explains just why the CEFP is critically important to the Pocahontas School System’s future and he also talks about the proposed new Major Improvement Project funding that the Board of Education has applied for to the West Virginia School Building Authority,