Sand Hill Repair Work Inspected

Minor damage to walls, shifted doors and cracked floors are among the problems caused by coal mining beneath Sand Hill Elementary that have been addressed by Consol Energy Inc., according to school officials.

Members of the Marshall County Board of Education gathered at the school Tuesday to survey the repairs to the three buildings at the site and determine the need for further improvements to the school.

Three years ago, students who attend Sand Hill were temporarily relocated to Hilltop Elementary for several months while Consol conducted longwall mining beneath the Sand Hill property. According to Superintendent Michael Hince, the company previously agreed to repair any structural damage to the school building that resulted during the mining process.

“We’re at the point now where whatever was going to happen has happened,” Hince said. “We wanted to take another look at the school, because it’s time. We will go back to our architect and look at … what he found and then see what we’re going to do.”

According to Principal Kimberly Cain, Consol installed new tile flooring to repair cracked floors and replaced the carpet in classrooms. The company also fixed walls and doors in the school buildings, and the parking lot was repaved to repair damage caused by trucks. An estimated total cost of the damages caused by the company was not available Tuesday, and Consol officials could not be reached for comment.

Cain said Consol also allotted the school district an initial payment to mine beneath the property. That money will go toward further renovations at the school.

According to Cain, many of the remaining repairs are a result of the age of the building and not necessarily damage caused by mining activity. Hince said the board will review the costs of repairing the school’s windows, fixing the roofs of the buildings and installing electronic key scan devices in the coming weeks.