Business as Usual For Marshall School Board

MOUNDSVILLE?- One night after board member Lori Kestner expressed concerns over her ability to work with other board members, the subject was not brought up by any other members the Marshall County Board of Education during Tuesday’s regular board meeting.

On Monday, Beth Phillips was selected as board president following a 3-2 vote. After that vote, Kestner expressed her disappointment, as she has the most experience among the board members.

Additionally, Kestner said she believed Phillips did “internal campaigning” to receive the votes, and that Phillips did not return Kestner’s calls about reorganizing the board. Kestner said she would have to reconsider her position on the board and whether she could work with individuals she did not trust. Phillips said she was shocked by Monday’s vote.

At Tuesday’s regular meeting, neither Kestner nor Phillips referenced the situation, nor did any members of the board or administration. No additional comment on the matter was offered.

As for the meeting, a light agenda saw the board hear of renovations to the front of John Marshall High School, which are on schedule and going well. Assistant Superintendent Corey Murphy said about half of the windows in the front of the school have been replaced so far. He expects the rest to be done before the 2014-15 school year begins Aug. 18.

Additionally, four of the eight restrooms to be renovated should be completed by the start of school, with the rest being finished in the first few weeks of the year.

The third phase of the project, which includes building a new bridge in the front of the school and renovating some classrooms, is slated to begin in October. Workers also should begin rewiring the building during the school year.

The project is partially funded through a $7 million grant from the West Virginia School Building Authority. Originally set at $16 million, the project was altered due to an unexpected $8 million HVAC renovation that caused the board to reconsider various aspects of the work. The board plans to spend $16.8 million this year to meet requirements from the SBA, and will attempt to extend the project over five years as money from the district’s excess levy becomes available. In June, the project budget increased by $12,000, as the board learned the bathroom designs are not supported by existing infrastructure.

Crews have reported having several sightseers throughout the day, according to Murphy. He advised curious visitors should only drive by after 5 p.m. when work has finished for the day so as to not disrupt construction work.

“We’ve had several people driving through campus,” Murphy said. “I would say wait until after the work day.”

In other business, the board unanimously voted to purchase two ovens for Center McMechen and Cameron Elementary schools for $29,525 from Carney & Sloan Inc. in Wheeling.