At the board of education Monday evening, Blair Friar, of OOWPR Architects & Engineers, presented board members with several plans for improvements to schools in the county. The board will select one of the plans to present to the School Building Authority in an attempt to receive funding.
The most popular plan is to move Marlinton Elementary School out of the floodplain and into the Marlinton Middle School facility.
“I’ve taken a look at the superintendent’s request of what it would take to make the middle school and elementary and, of course, to move the seventh and eighth graders out,” Frair said. “The way this thing works, what you would need over there to just close the elementary school is you need to add four classrooms – two kindergarten size classrooms and then two regular size classrooms.”
The rest of the proposal included several upgrades to the building including a new HVAC system.
If the plan is approved and submitted to the SBA, it will also include moving the seventh and eighth grade students to Pocahontas County High School and creating a grades seven through 12 school.
The plan must be submitted by October 1.
Interim Superintendent Terrence Beam reported on recent news concerning underfunding by the State Department of Education. A recent audit revealed that Pocahontas County Schools was underfunded more than $1 million over the course of seven years.
“There are no immediate plans to reimburse counties for the money they were shorted by the Department of Education,” Beam said. “That’s something the legislature will have to take up.”
On a lighter note, Beam shared his appreciation for the sportsmanship shown by the PCHS football team at the recent game against Richwood High School.
“The sportsmanship that our kids show to other teams I think is something that needs to be applauded,” he said. “When a player was injured, all the kids hit a knee and they stayed there for a long, long time. I think that just shows a lot of class and not all high schools do that.”
• Student representative Emily Boothe reported the Warrior band attended two field competitions last weekend. At the Hurricane competition, the band placed third out of six and the color guard placed second. At Poca, drum major Savannah Davis placed second.
Boothe added that the girls soccer team defeated Midland Trail, 2-1 and the boys won over Midland Trail 4-9. The golf team competed in regionals at Canaan Valley Resort and have qualified for the state meet which will be October 5-7 in Wheeling.
In miscellaneous management, the board approved the following:
• Hillsboro Elementary School third, fourth and fifth grade students to travel by chartered bus to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, June 1-3, 2016. All costs to be paid by HES end of year fund.
In personnel management, the board approved the following:
• Employment of Tom Boothe as mentor for Amanda Nottingham, effective for the 2015-2016 school year at a supplement of $1,000.
• Resignation of Silas Sattler as school bus operator for Pocahontas County Schools, effective October 22.
• Employment of Beth Wilfong as substitute aide for Pocahontas County Schools, effective September 30, as needed, for the remainder of the 2015-2016 school year, at state basic pay.
The Local School Improvement Council/Faculty Senate board of education meeting will be Monday, October 5, at 1 p.m. at Hillsboro Elementary School.
The next board meeting will be Monday, October 12, at 7 p.m., at the board of education conference room.
Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org