Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

At the Pocahontas County Board of Education meeting Monday evening, board members held a discussion concerning replacement of the fire alarm systems at Marlinton Elementary and Marlinton Middle schools.

The systems are in bad repair and break down on a regular basis, leading the board to seek funding sources for the project. The board was recently granted an MIP [Major Improvements Project] from the West Virginia School Building Authority for Green Bank Elementary-Middle School and is unable to apply for another grant until next summer.

With GBEMS covered, the board discussed replacing the systems through other sources, including the Safe Rural Schools funding, known locally as forestry money.

“We are aware things could change with the SBA,” board president Joe Walker said, “but my thoughts, it doesn’t really matter when that happens, if it’s next year or not, we still have an obligation to keep those schools as safe as we can.”

The board received more SRS money than was budgeted, so there is a possibility to use the leftover money for the projects.

“Some of that money was in the budget and obviously has been used already,” Walker said. “However, I don’t have an exact number, but I’m assuming from past conversations, we’re looking at somewhere around fifty thousand dollars to do both.”

Treasurer Sherry Radcliff said she did not have the numbers in front of her at the moment, but she thought there was close to $50,000 left in the SRS funds, but there are still several items which will be paid out of that money.

The board discussed the next move to go forward with the project and asked superintendent Terrence Beam to place the issue on the September 10 agenda as a voting item.

In updates:

• Beam reported that the board office held its open house earlier in the day and between 25 and 30 people attended. He said they seemed pleased with the new location and the offices.

Beam also invited the board members to attend the first day of school for teachers, Thursday, August 9, at Pocahontas County High School.

• Walker would like to involve other areas of the county in board meetings and suggested having a meeting in the Snowshoe area. He said several students in that area are home-schooled, and he thought it would be nice to give parents an opportunity to address the board.

The board agreed and elected to have the September 10 regular meeting at Snowshoe.

In miscellaneous management, the board approved the following:

• Agreement between Pocahontas County Board of Education and Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC, as it pertains to a work area placed on the Pocahontas County High School campus.

• Andrea J. Sharp, a resident of Randolph County, to enroll her child in Pocahontas County Schools, effective for the 2018-2019 school year.

• To offer the following courses at Pocahontas County High School, effective for the 2018-2019 school year: Ag Food and Natural Resources/Horticulture, Animal Science and Animal Processing, Ag Mechanics Course of Study and Science of Agriculture.

See the personnel agenda in next week’s edition.

The next board meeting will be Monday, August 20, at 6 p.m. in the board of education conference room in Buckeye.