Plans progressing for Multipurpose Community Center
Board of education members received an education in construction Monday night as Dale Withrow with Chapman Technical Group explained the construction phase of the Pocahontas County Multipurpose Community Center.
Withrow said, according to the timeline, the project is moving along as planned, but may hit a snag once the foundation stage begins.
ﾓWe got the soil investigation, the geotechnical report, back and it wasnﾒt good news,ﾔ he said. ﾓWhat we have found is that Knapps Creek used to cover this whole area. So basically, what weﾒre doing is building on creek bottom, which is not the best place to build.ﾔ
This news, added to the issue of building in a flood plain has led to a plan to build the foundation above the flood plain, as well as forcing the foundation to settle prior to construction of the building.
ﾓWhere the portable classrooms use to sit, weﾒre actually going to cut that down three feet and then weﾒre going to bring back in more soil to get it up above the flood plain,ﾔ Withrow said. ﾓWeﾒll bring in about eight inches of soil, compact it and bring in another eight inches, compact and continue to do this until weﾒve raised it approximately four feet above the flood plain.ﾔ
The foundation soil must be compacted so much because the center will be beside the Marlinton Elementary School multipurpose room, which has had more time to settle. With the soil compaction, the buildings will be level with each other.
After the soil is compacted, another four feet of soil will be placed on top of the foundation and left to settle naturally. This soil, according to Withrow, will simulate the weight of the building and allow the foundation to compensate and settle accordingly.
Along with the soil compacting, the building will be enforced with deep foundations.
ﾓWhat we found when they were doing the borings, they had to go down as far as 20 feet to find competent soil that would be able to carry the weight of the building, so we will extend the foundation down to that level,ﾔ Withrow said. ﾓWe will use a new system where you ram aggregate into the ground until it meets resistance to make a solid foundation.ﾔ
Withrow said the bids will be let in late summer and the foundation compaction should be complete by winter, which will allow the site to be ready for construction the following spring.
The board thanked Withrow for his time and the update.
In other news:
ﾕ Technology Coordinator Ruth Bland provided the board with updates on the technology upgrades made in the schools. Both computer labs at MES and Hillsboro Elementary School were replaced and Marlinton Middle School received more computers and Elmo projectors.
Bland said she is concerned with the E-Rate funding because the guidelines were changed. In order to receive funding through E-Rate, the schools must have a certain percentage of students receiving free or reduced lunch. This year, none of the schools in the county qualified for the funding, so system improvements were not made.
Because most technology is becoming wireless, Bland applied to the Education Funding Group to upgrade the wireless capabilities at MES and HES. EFG asked Bland to fill out the application as if the school system did not have wireless. To put in a new wireless system, Pomeroy IT Solutions estimated the cost at $328,275.
This plan includes Green Bank Elementary-Middle School, which cannot have wireless access because of its proximity to the Green Bank National Radio Astronomy Observatory.
Bland, who is also the principal at GBEMS, said her school will face a lot of setbacks with technology as schools continue to update with wireless capable electronics. She said Wes Sizemore, RFI Management at the NRAO, visited GBEMS because his sensors were showing a lot of interference coming from the school. They discovered that, although the school does not have access to wireless Internet, the wireless cards in the schoolsﾒ electronics were searching for a signal, causing interference.
Bland said she will meet with NRAO personnel to discuss the future of technology at GBEMS and what the school can do to stop causing interference.
ﾕ Superintendent C.C. Lester recognized Pocahontas County High Schoolﾒs Lady Warriors for going to the state tournament in Charleston. He also commended Dan Arbogast and Mali Minter for riding the spirit buses with the students.
Lester added that he and board president Kenneth Vance presented the HES needs project application to the School Building Authority in Charleston last week. The SBA will inform him April 1 if the project is funded.
Representatives of the county went to job fairs at Glenville State College and Concord University to recruit new teachers. Lester said they met several students interested in coming to the county.
Lester reported eight make-up days for snow days will be May 27 and 31, June 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8.
ﾕ Student representative Nathan Hamons had several dates to report. The Foreign Language Festival is May 7; Prom is May 14 at 8 p.m. in the Mountain Lodge at Snowshoe Mountain Resort; WESTEST 2 is May 16 through 20; the athletic banquet is May 25; senior awards night is May 26; and graduation is May 28 at 11 a.m.
ﾕ Board member Emery Grimes suggested the board members have public meetings with communities in the county to hear the publics concernﾒs about the education system. Grimes, board member Margaret Worth and Lester will work together on times and locations.
ﾕ In light of all the technology upgrades, board member Leslie Cain said the board should survey all the students to see how many of them have Internet access and computers at home.
ﾕ Worth recognized Wanda Hrabina and Dan Arbogast for organizing the county social studies fair and said the day went well and the projects were great.
ﾕ Vance asked board members if they are interested in donating $100 for the BOE scholarship. They all agreed to continue the scholarship and Lester and Associate Superintendent for Operations and Treasurer Alice Irvine agreed to each give $250 to make the scholarship $1,000.
In financial management, the board approved:
ﾕ Payment of vendor listing of claims in the amount of $16,568.27.
ﾕ Payment of vendor listing of claims int he amount of $109,819.14.
In personnel management, the board approved:
ﾕ Placement from transfer of Rebecca A. Spencer as teacher of multi-subjects, second grade, at Marlinton Elementary School, effective for the 2011-2012 school year.
ﾕ Rescind action on reduction in force, non-rehire of Shannon C. Anderson as teacher of second grade at Marlinton Elementary School, effective for the 2011-2012 school year, due to displacement by a more senior employee.
ﾕ Employment/placement of Shannon C. Anderson as half-time teacher of multi-subjects, grades kindergarten through four, at Hillsboro Elementary School, effective for the 2011-2012 school year. Term of employment is 200 one-half days.
ﾕ Extension of employment contract of Sharla G. Sherman as academic interventionist at Hillsboro Elementary school, for three hours per day at $20 per hour, not to exceed $2,880, retroactive to February 14 through April 22.
ﾕ Placement from transfer of Daniel E. Arbogast, II, as itinerant supervisory special education classroom aide/bus aide/paraprofessional, male position for Pocahontas County Schools, effective for the 2011-2012 school year, assignment Pocahontas County High School.
ﾕ Creation of position teacher of mathematics at Pocahontas County High school, effective for the 2011-2012 school year. Term of employment is 200 days.
ﾕ Requested transfer of Cathy A. Mitchell from teacher at Marlinton Middle School to itinerant classroom/technology support teacher for Pocahontas County Schools, effective for the 2011-2012 school year. Term of employment is 200 days. Schedule is three day/two day alternating schedule at Hillsboro Elementary School and Marlinton Middle School.
ﾕ Employment of Wanda L. Hrabina as itinerant classroom/technology support teacher for Pocahontas County Schools, effective for the 2011-2012 school year. Term of employment is 200 days. Schedule is three day/two day alternating schedule at Marlinton Elementary School and Green Bank Elementary-Middle School.
ﾕ Employment of Dustin L. Lambert as substitute teacher for Pocahontas County Schools, effective March 15, for the remainder of the 2010-2011 school year, as needed.
In miscellaneous management, the board approved:
ﾕ Travel requests for March 14.
ﾕ Contract between Robin Groves and the Pocahontas County Board of Education to provide physical therapy services for a student enrolled at Pocahontas County High School who has an Individualized Education Program, effective March through June 30, at a rate of $85 per hour with a minimum of two hours per week, not to exceed $6,000.
ﾕ Contract between Melanie Mason and the Pocahontas County Board of Education to provide physical therapy services for a student enrolled at Pocahontas County High School who has an Individualized Education Program, effective March through June 30, at a rate of $110 per hour with a minimum of five hours per week, not to exceed $6,000.
ﾕ Contract between the Pocahontas County Board of Education and James Monderine for educational training services to provide for the efficient operation of the school system and that such need may not be efficiently met through the use of regular employees, for the sum of $400 per day for a total of up to three days, not to exceed $1,200, effective March 15 through June 10.
The next board of education meeting is Monday, March 28 at 7 p.m. in the board conference room.