TENNERTON – Upshur County Schools administrators, staff and students were all smiles Thursday when the Upshur County Board of Education accepted a check for $546,164 from the West Virginia School Building Authority.
The funds will be used for site drainage and foundation shoring at Tennerton Elementary School. Superintendent of Upshur County Schools Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus said she was pleased to have received the funds from the SBA to make needed repairs at the school.
“It’s a great day for Upshur County Schools,” Stankus said. “Tennerton Elementary School was built in 1958, and it evokes a sense of pride for the Tennerton community and Upshur County.
“Our school buildings must stand the test of time, and the monies from the SBA grant have been a true blessing,” Stankus added. “These buildings house our most precious members of the Upshur County community – our children.”
Stankus told those gathered at the school Thursday she felt the W.Va. SBA funded the Tennerton Elementary School project because the Upshur County School system takes such good care of their buildings.
“We take good care of our older buildings. We are able to demonstrate this and show we want to keep our buildings for a long time and need money to help replace things like our roof and HVAC systems. These are items that are needed to keep buildings open and safe,” Stankus said.
Upshur County Schools business manager George Carver said he felt the architect overseeing Upshur County Schools projects does a good job of packaging projects when presenting them to the SBA.
“Too much water pooling outside the gymnasium wall is causing the wall to pull away from the building,” Carver explained. “We put in new piers underneath, but the water problem persists. We put money into a new roof for the building, so it just makes sense to try and take care of the drainage issue to protect our investment.”
Tennerton Elementary School Principal Tristen Gray said the completed project will have a great impact on the students, staff and Tennerton School community members.
“Once the project is complete, our students will have the opportunity to do more activities on that end of the building,” he said. “I can foresee tables and other items being put in that area for classes to use. We are lucky at Tennerton to have so much open space on the playground and by the maintenance building. When this project is completed the school will have an additional lot for students and staff to utilize.”
Gray said the first phase of the repairs at Tennerton Elementary – replacing the old roof with a new rubber roof – began in June and were completed in September. He said the site drainage and foundation shoring project should be completed within a year.
A press release supplied by the Upshur County Board of Education said the School Building Authority was created in 1989 by the West Virginia Legislature to address the educational planning and school construction needs of the state in an efficient and economical manner.
Since, its inception, the SBA has partnered with all 55 counties to provide more than $3.2 billion in funding for construction projects in the Mountain State.