Government, News

Three Schools: Highlights from Monday’s Board of Education Meeting, 1/8/20

By Derek Tyson, The Welch News Editor

WELCH, WV – The McDowell County Board of Education heard about progress at one school, demolition of a former school and no movement at all on another closed school. 

Carolyn Falin gave the Board her Superintendent Update, starting with progress on Mount View’s new football field. 

“If you haven’t been up to Mount View in awhile, it’s been moving along,” said Falin. “The weather has made it difficult but it’s moving despite the weather.” 

Demolition of Northfork High School was next up for discussion, with McDowell County Schools receiving partial bury on site permission for the dilapidated structure. 

“If there’s anything they would have to move from the site, it would increase by $50,000, but they don’t expect it to be necessary,” said Falin. “The original quote was $186,000 and the most it would be up to is $236,000 because of permission to bury. They hope to start that in a couple of weeks.”

“They can’t bury everything,” said Board member Mike Callaway. “I understand there’s quite a bit of asbestos in that building.”

“Yes there’s some things they will be moving off,” said Falin. “From the time of the first quote to now, it’s been so long as the building is in even worse condition. There could have never been used for anything else. They said it’s unsafe to walk inside anymore because the roof is so unstable.”

No movement has been made on the former Anawalt Elementary modular structure, after unsuccessful bid requests. 

“We’re putting it back to bid again and we’ll see what happens. We might want to think about what we do if we don’t receive any bids,” said Falin. “Mr. Chapman thinks people would bid on it if it could stay on the premises, but the land company is really picky about who they allow to lease their land.”

“How far does that bid go out,” asked Board member Mike Mitchem.

“The same way we always do but we always get bids,” said Falin. “We put it out to the State Superintendents as well. We might want to think about if there are parts we would want to sell. We may get money out of the air conditioning, there’s an electrical unit circuit that could be sold. We’ll see what happens with this round of bids and then we can decide.”

“We could give it to the State Department to help another school system, if they pay to move it,” said David Williams. 

“Is there anything we could use,” asked Board member Margaret Beavers. 

“Maybe the air conditioning,” said Falin. “Welch and Fall River have similar units, but we’ve already used everything else that we could.” 

The next McDowell County Board of Education meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 21st, 2020 at the Phoenix Center in Welch beginning at 4:30 p.m.