Inter-Mountain: Gilmer-Lewis Inter-County School Project Is on Track
Elkins Inter-Mountain Reports:
Members of the Lewis County Board of Education met with representatives of Williamson-Shriver Architects on June 27 to discuss the progress being made on the Gilmer-Lewis inter-county school project, which will be the first of its kind in the state.
The school site sets on 20 acres of property located in both Lewis and Gilmer counties. It will house an approximately 40,000-square foot school that will serve students in kindergarten through sixth grade from the eastern end of Gilmer County and the western end of Lewis County in the Linn area. The $10 million school will replace Troy Elementary School in Gilmer County and Alum Bridge Elementary in Lewis County.
Ted Shriver told board members they were setting the stage for the rest of the state regarding future inter-county schools.
“What you are doing with Gilmer County is setting a new pace for the state,“ Shriver said.
Shriver said there has been a lot of good input coming in from the school committee, which has representation from both counties and includes educators, residents, parents and students.
The design of the school is ongoing, as input is taken and improvements are made to the school’s template. Some changes include moving the playground area from the side to the back of the school for better student safety. It also has included moving access areas to give bus drivers and parents a better view when they exit the school campus.
Classrooms also are under development with questions being asked about the layout and the design.
Shriver said the architects are not creating a “cookie cutter” school; they are creating a facility that gives students, teachers and the community what they need.
“The School Board Authority does not dictate what goes into the school as long as you don’t go over cost or over space requirements,“ Shriver said. “The layout is up to the committee.“
Greg Martin, the project manager, said the proposed design will keep the lower grade levels, K-1, in one wing and grades 2-6 in a separate wing.
He said efforts are being made to explore what can be done to improve the point of view of drivers leaving the campus.
Some issues being discussed are what would the best use of a media center or library as computer terminals and access will be located in the classroom. A library could be used more as a lounge for students to explore books rather than implementing a traditional library.
“The plan is still developing,“ Shriver said. “We still have more meetings to discuss the project.“
“I think you are going to design a good school for Gilmer and Lewis County,“ Lewis County Board of Education member Cline Craig said. “We can’t lose sight of the fact this is a school for both Gilmer and Lewis counties. This is going to give the students in those outlying areas a new school they wouldn’t have had before.“
Both Shriver and Martin stressed the importance of knowing what students, educators and the community want for the school. According to current building plans, the school will include 6,645 square feet for pre-school, handicapped and special needs students; 10,200 square feet for elementary classrooms; 7,341 square feet for core educational support areas; 1,300 square feet for music and art; 1,350 square feet for a media area; 3,340 square feet for physical education; and 5,857 square feet for core/building support areas.
The single-story school is being financed by the state School Building Authority and is expected to be a template for other inter-county school projects in the state.
~~ John Clise - The Inter-Mountain ~~
Did the Gilmer County Board of Education members not attend this meeting June 27th?? All that was mentioned was Lewis County Board Members.
Shriver says there has been alot of good input coming in from the school committees which has representation from both counties, includes educators, residents, parents and students. REALLY? We can check with Mr. Blankenship on who this involves from Gilmer County. If he does not know, “he will check into it”.
Mr. Shriver told Lewis County Board Members what you are doing with Gilmer County is setting a new pace for the state.
I appreciate the article that Gilmer Free Press put on here for us to read that was from the Elkins Inter-Mountain. We’ll probably get a report soon from Mr. Blankenship about this meeting and he will keep us updated on the progress that is being made. (Wink, wink)
Comment by Anonymous again on 07.11.2012
I understand that certain members at that meeting wanted to give up music and art for a larger, “competition sized” gym but the SBA would not fund it and said they would have to add that themselves. No consideration for the cultural development of the children wanted by the “visionary” contributing members. What are they thinking? No mention of the fact that not one inch of that school or any of the educational dollars will go on the books for Gilmer County. That this will be Lewis County’s fourth new school plus a remodel and the resulting negative economic impact here though we will supply greater than half the student population.
Mace tried to say they would bring in their middle school students at the June BOE meeting. How do you do that when an elementary school was funded? I found this quote in the Charleston Gazette dated May 12, 2012 and for once the truth of the matter comes out.
“The Legislature created the state School Building Authority in 1989, with the purpose of equitably distributing a centralized pool of taxpayer funds to build and repair schools.
However, the SBA also was expressly created to shut down schools, said Mark Manchin, the agency’s executive director.
“The SBA was created to consolidate buildings,“ Manchin said.
Where is Gilmer County’s “equal distribution” of funding between the have and have not counties? Seems we are being forced into the have not slot.This new building sounds pretty but there’s nothing pretty, honest or ethical about the process.
Comment by Nothing for Gilmer County on 07.12.2012
This story is about a meeting of the Lewis County Board of Education, not a Gilmer Board meeting. The architect was at an earlier meeting with the Gilmer Board I believe.
In other words, it was NOT a joint meeting. The Inter-Mountain routinely reports the news of Lewis County Board meetings.
Comment by anonymous on 07.12.2012
Are you saying that Lewis County met with the architects to discuss progress on the inter-county school without Gilmer County being represented? Hard to tell who was there from this report but since we’re being forced into this consolidation with no say?
Comment by Really on 07.13.2012
We were FORCED into a consolidation with Lewis County. This is a 2 county school which Gilmer has not had any say in and ALL meetings should involve BOTH counties at the same time. Not one here and one there. Gilmer is losing a school, teachers and students and giving Lewis the number students needed in order to make this happen, plus control and decision making which is not a happy situation for most of Gilmer County. Our rights, our loyalty and most of all our dignity have been stripped. Decisions and involvment should be both counties at all times. I hope ALL THOSE INVOLVED AND CONTRIBUTED TO THIS MESS are satisified with your actions. Maybe parents should consider home schooling.
Comment by how do you sleep? on 07.13.2012
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