BOE receives advice on sprinkler system maintenance

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer
 
At the Pocahontas County Board of Education meeting Monday evening, Green Bank resident Michael Sweeny addressed the board with suggestions on how to maintain the school’s sprinkler systems without having to replace them.

Sweeny has experience as a technical consultant, and said there are several small fixes that could help extend the lifespan of the sprinkler systems at Marlinton Elementary School and Green Bank Elementary-Middle School, both of which are in rough shape.

“I’d like to help you develop a plan and prioritize things from most important to least important,” he said. “You may think the most important is a complete sprinkler system replacement. Well really, in this case, it’s not so.”

Sweeny referred to the most recent report from the state fire marshal’s office and pointed out where several of the infractions could be fixed without too much difficulty and cost.

“There’s one I saw, missing caps on the sand piping system,” he said. “That’s as simple as applying a two-and-a-half-inch PVC cap on it and screwing it on. All this stuff shows that you’re progressively moving forward with a plan, an action plan.”

Sweeny also suggested that, if the board had money to do so, it should try to stockpile supplies to show it is prepared for damage to the systems or a water break.

“You can’t really change the cost of raw materials, but you can apply the money in a little bit different ways,” he said. “For example, five hundred bucks a week, say that buys you fifty-foot of sprinkler pipe – two-and-a-half-inch – that can be stockpiled somewhere. Your biggest cost in this is labor.”

While the board is facing financial cuts and issues with funding maintenance costs, Sweeny said there are ways that board employees could help. He said if individuals who make more than $70,000 a year contributed $50 a week, it would add up.

“That’s the type of avenues that it seems you all may be facing,” he said. “Everybody has a personal interest in seeing these schools not getting reverted back to the state. I’m not sure what restraints you work under here.” 

Superintendent Terrence Beam asked Sweeny if he could visit the schools and make notes of repairs he thinks they would make to the sprinkler system, and he said he would.

Beam said he will have maintenance director Ron Hall contact Sweeny to set up the visits, after which, Sweeny said he will update the board on his findings.

In updates:

• Beam reported that Green Bank Elementary-Middle School suffered a water break Sunday, which caused 6,000 gallons of water to flood the school. Beam added that director of student services Ruth Bland and several employees sprang to action to clean up the mess.

“Kudos to her for her hard work yesterday,” Beam said of Bland. “She had a mess up there to clean up, and Jamie Walker was up there to help you all.”

“Roger Irvine came and Corey Friel,” Bland added. “J.D. Chestnut, Lisa Wayne, Katherine LaFleur, Ron Hall and Sherry Radcliff. We were all slinging mops.”

“And using snow shovels, but not for snow,” Beam said.

Beam said the water break was a perfect example of why he wanted to have an emergency relocation plan in place for both GBEMS and MES in case something happened. He said he is working on a plan for GBEMS now on where to relocate the students and staff if an issue arises that is not easily fixed.

In special recognitions, Beam reported that Marlinton Middle School students Logan Hively and Silas Riley were this year’s Golden Horseshoe winners.

Beam also thanked county resident Rachel Tompkins, who donated $1,000 to the math department to purchase iPads.

In miscellaneous management, the board approved the following: 

• Tonya Warder as volunteer assistant softball coach at Pocahontas County High School, effective for the 2016-2017 season. 

• David L. Moore as volunteer assistant baseball coach at Pocahontas County High School, effective for the 2016-2017 season. 

• Justin Kerr and Patrick Gibson to transport 13 students by school bus and personal vehicle to Fairmont March 30-31 to compete in the SkillsUSA competition. 

• Shannon Alderman, Gina Hardesty and Devan Simmons to transport Hillsboro Elementary School third, fourth and fifth graders by charter bus to Kings Dominion, Doswell, Virginia, departing and returning May 30. All costs to be paid for by third through fifth grade end of year trip fund and fundraising.

• To transport Marlinton Middle School eighth grade students by charter bus to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, May 24-26. All costs to be paid by fundraising.

In personnel management, the board approved the following:

• Consent to change Marsha Beverage from teacher of multi-subjects at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School to a subsequent teaching position for which she is certified to teach at the same location.

• Consent to change Katherine LaFleur from Title I reading specialist at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School to Title I reading specialist at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School and Marlinton Elementary School, effective for the 2017-2018 school year, at state basic salary based on degree and experience. Term of employment shall be 200 days.

• Requested transfer of Susan Grant from teacher of multi-subjects in fourth grade at Marlinton Elementary School to teacher of multi-subjects at Marlinton Elementary School, effective for the 2017-2018 school year, at state basic salary based on degree and experience. Term of employment is 200 days.

• Resignation of Ellen D. Fortney as teacher of multi-subjects at Marlinton Elementary School, effective at the end of the 2016-2017 school year.

• Reduction in force of Kristi L. Tankersley as Title I reading specialist at Marlinton Elementary School, effective at the end of the 2016-2017 school year, due to lack of required certification.

• Consent to change Sherri L. Howe from cook II at Marlinton Middle School, to cook II at Marlinton Elementary School and Marlinton Middle School, effective for the 2017-2018 school year, at state basic pay. Term of employment is 200 days.

• Reduction in force of David W. Vanorsdale, Jr., as teacher of English/language arts/reading at Marlinton Middle School, effective at the end of the 2016-2017 school year, due to displacement by more senior employee.

• Consent to change Laurel B. Dilley from teacher of mathematics at Pocahontas County High School, term of employment 200 full days, to teacher of mathematics at Pocahontas County High School, term of employment 200 one-half days, effective for the 2017-2018 school year, at state basic salary based on degree and experience.

• Transfer of Maria L. McCoy-Hanna from itinerant teacher of multi-categorical special education (LD, BD, MI)/teacher of multi-subjects at Hillsboro Elementary School to itinerant teacher of multi-categorical special education (LD, BD, MI) at Pocahontas County High School, effective for the 2017-2018 school year, at state basic salary based on degree and experience. Term of employment shall remain 200 days.

• Reduction in force of Jeanette D. Wagner as itinerant teacher of multi-categorical special education (LD, BD, MI) at Pocahontas County High School, effective at the end of the 2016-2017 school year, due to displacement by more senior employee. 

• Consent to change Cindy Wade-Price as itinerant supervisory special education aide/bus aide at Marlinton Middle School to itinerant supervisory special education aide/bus aide at Marlinton Elementary School, effective for the 2017-2018 school year, at state basic pay. Term of employment shall be 200 days.

• Reduction in force of Felicia L. Smith as itinerant paraprofessional/supervisory special education aide/bus aide at Marlinton Elementary School, effective at the end of the 2016-2017 school year, due to displacement by a more senior employee.

• Reduction in force of Rebecca A. Davis as itinerant supervisory special education aide/bus aide at Pocahontas County High School, effective at the end of the 2016-2017 school year, due to lack of need.

• Reduction in force of Karrie Jack as itinerant supervisory special education aide/bus aide at Marlinton Elementary School, effective at the end of the 2016-2017 school year, due to lack of need.

• Reduction in force of Gary T. Rose as school bus operator for Pocahontas County Schools, effective at the end of the 2016-2017 school year, due to lack of need. 

• Consent to change Stephanie L. Barkley as secretary III/accountant III at the central office, she agrees to assume additional duties and responsibilities to meet the needs of Pocahontas County Schools, in the event Regional Education Service Agencies are dissolved or restructured, effective for the 2017-2018 school year. Term of employment shall remain 240. Shift shall remain 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

• Consent to change Jennifer M. Barlow as executive secretary/accountant III, Cora L. Carpenter as executive secretary/accountant III Melissa A. Ervine as executive secretary/accountant III and Kristin L. Kinnison as executive secretary/accountant III at the central office, they agree to assume additional duties and responsibilities to meet the needs of Pocahontas County Schools, in the event Regional Education Service Agencies are dissolved or restructured, effective for the 2017-2018 school year. Term of employment shall remain 261. Shift shall remain 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

• Transfer Jared S. Bennett from coordinator of teacher and learning for Pocahontas County Schools to teacher of English/language arts/reading at Marlinton Middle School, at state basic salary based on degree and experience. Term of employment shall be 200 days.

• Transfer of Jerald L. Ramos, Adam Taylor and Allen Taylor from school bus operator for Pocahontas County Schools, to a different bus run, effective for the 2017-2018 school year, at state basic pay. Term of employment is 200 days.

• Employment of William Shawn Gilmore and Olivia Grimes as substitute teachers for Pocahontas County Schools, effective March 29, or upon completion of RESA IV online substitute training program, as needed, for the remainder of the 2016-2017 school year, at state basic pay based on degree and experience.

The next board meeting is Monday, April 10, at 6 p.m. in the board of education conference room.

more recommended stories