MES bus shelter project a go

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer
At the August 20 Pocahontas County Board of Education meeting, Marlinton Elementary School Local School Improvements Council [LSIC] member J.L. Clifton reported that the plan to build a bus shelter at the school is ready to be implemented.

Clifton first brought the project idea to the board last year and has spent the time since gathering donations and getting plans together for the project.

“It’s a small project,” Clifton said. “It was something that we, as the LSIC, saw a need for, basically, because it’s so congested where the buses are running now. It’s about a ten by sixteen structure, no sides. A bonus would be benches, but the main thing would be a roof at a level area for shelter, not just because of the congestion.”

The board informed Clifton that once the former board office is demolished, there is a plan to relocate the buses there to load and unload students. Despite this change, Clifton said he feels the shelter will still be beneficial for students using the activity bus and the Community Wellness Center. 

“If you get the buses moved – this will be a benefit until that time, and even if and when that does happen, you still have the rec center, which would still be able to utilize it, as well as the activity bus in the evenings,” Clifton said. “I think it’s still going to be a benefit to have it regardless of when you are able to do something in the future.” 

Clifton said he has been busy and first talked to Pocahontas County High School carpentry teacher Duane Gibson about having his students design and build the shelter. Gibson’s class made a supply list and broke it down to the bare minimum.
The good news is, Clifton found several businesses willing to donate time and money to make the shelter possible.

Mitchell Chevrolet pledged to provide a skid steer or excavator to prepare the spot for the shelter. Appalachian Aggregate will supply the gravel ( 3/4 crusher run) and Burns Motor Freight has committed to hauling the gravel. 

“The biggie was the materials list, and I went to several different places,” Clifton said. “Lowes has agreed to furnish every bit of the materials on the list, minus the crusher run. [It] has agreed to donate the entire materials list, even the bonus bench material through their Heroes Program.”

Clifton added that several other businesses have stated they will pitch in any materials needed that Lowes is unable to provide.

With all the materials in place, Clifton said he spoke again with Gibson, who plans to have the project as the first on his list for this semester. 

The board thanked Clifton for his efforts and agreed that the project will be beneficial to the students and community. 

In updates:

• Superintendent Terrence Beam reported that Assistant State Superintendent and Director of Career and Technical Education Dr. Kathy D’Anoni sent him samples for six potential high school models for a technical high school. Beam said he shared the information with PCHS principal Joe Riley for his consideration. 

Beam added that he heard that several people are upset that PCHS is charging students to drive and park at the school. Beam spoke to board attorney Jason Long, who informed him that it is legal for a school to charge for such privileges.

The money is used to improve the school. The rates are: full year, $50, one semester, $25 or $2 a day.  

Miscellaneous and personnel management will appear in the September 5 edition of The Pocahontas Times.

• The board voted down 1-3 a request from Maureen Stuart to waive Policy JBCC – Attendance Zone Policy, so that her child may ride the school bus from the Snowshoe area to Green Bank Elementary-Middle School. Stuart will be required to provide transportation for her child to attend GBEMS.
The next board meeting will be Tuesday, September 10, beginning at 4 p.m. with interviews for a new board member, followed immediately by the regular meeting, at the board of education conference room.

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