TENNERTON – The vice president of the Upshur County Board of Education asked administrators if a rumored closure of the Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School Library was, in fact, true.
At the board’s most recent regular meeting April 11, board vice president Jan Craig asked if it was true that the library at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School was being dismantled.
Craig said that news “kind of floored her.”
“With our ELA (English Language Arts) scores … could someone please look at that?” Craig asked. “I know a lot of students do not have the opportunity to use the public library or the Gibson Library, and they get pretty attached to using the libraries in their elementary schools. I hope that will continue.”
Craig said she had been told students at B-UMS have not been permitted to check out books at the school.
“Hopefully, you will find out some information on that,” Craig said. She asked that a report be given at the next board meeting.
Another item discussed during the regular BOE meeting related to School Building Authority funding and what plans were in place for applying for any funds in the future. The conversation was sparked by a question from Craig about the SBA not accepting any requests for last December.
“I know the SBA did not accept any bids in December,” Craig said. “Have they come out with when they will accept requests again?”
Upshur County Board of Education Finance Director Jeffrey Perkins said schools had a window to submit requests.
“The SBA for major improvement projects has a maximum contribution by them of $1 million,” Perkins said. “The projects we are looking at are in the $2 million range, and our concern was we are already on the hook for $1.2 million with Tennerton Elementary School and with our current financial situation, we felt we did not want to take on an additional $2 million obligation.”
Perkins said when the next submission period comes out, Upshur County Schools will submit a project for funding.
“That will be this fall, and it should be in November,” Perkins said. “Our current number one project is for a new middle school. We will be asking for that again.”
He said the project they chose not to move forward with, which had been next on the school system’s list, is additions at Rock Cave Elementary School. Perkins said that the project and its scope would be almost identical to the project at Tennerton Elementary School.
“Hopefully, we will be in a financial situation to do that soon,” Perkins said.
Craig asked if the SBA would be moving forward with funding again, and Perkins said yes.
Another item on the agenda was a request from Buckhannon-Upshur High School Teacher Christy Dean asking to take Future Business Leaders of America members to Atlanta, Georgia, for the FBLA National Conference, which will be June 25-30.
Board president Dr. Tammy Samples said Dean came to the board last year and reported on the experiences students had then traveling to the conference.
“She took them to the zoo,” Samples said, saying that experience was an opportunity students may not normally be exposed to.
“She does an exceptional job, and she is to be commended,” Upshur County Schools Interim Superintendent Dr. Debra Harrison added.
A motion was made to approve the trip request by BOE member Daya Wright and seconded by BOE member Sherry Dean. The motion passed.
The next regular meeting of the Upshur County BOE meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 25 in the B-UHS Auditorium.