It was with great interest I read the two last letters to the editor from Jay Miller about the school administration decisions to close their offices in town near MES and move to an old, Moose Lodge building on a back road about as central to the community as the Himalayas. I took a detour to go down that narrow, hidden road to look over the building, a building that has not been occupied since 1990.
As usual, this group of people seem to have forgotten that it is public monies, public trust that is involved in their decisions. Did I miss a notice of a public educational meeting about the options for improving office space or how to spend the insurance money? What other possibilities were considered? As I try to read the inscrutable text about the decision, I do wonder. Is it true that the insurance money could only be “wasted” repairing damage for which it was intended or spent on an old building for which they are paying $30,000 over assessed valuation? I know we are far from the ocean, but I smell a fish here.
The whole thing strikes me as high-handed. I could be wrong, of course. But why not take time to meet with the community? Why not have an “open house” so we could see what is so great about this building (Lord knows there are many buildings vacant in this county, more centrally located that would promote business in the town of Marlinton, our county seat). Somebody might have a really good other idea or everybody might think this plan is great.
Will there be enough storage in this building? Will there be a place for the maintenance people’s shop which is now housed behind MES? Where are school records housed? Will deliveries go to that backwoods spot to be hauled elsewhere? Although it sounds so homey for people to paint their own offices, is it legal? What coverage do we have for a person who hurts him/herself moving from upstairs downtown to the haunted road office? The issue is not how they are going to move. The real issue is should they move and to where.
As a lifelong educator, I know the most successful administrators are an integral part of the community, not absent at some wooded nearly undisclosed location.
Thanks, Jay Miller, for your research and for bringing this behavior to our attention.
Cyla Allison, Ph.D.