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The Monongalia County Board of Education’s preferred site for a combined Easton-Woodburn Elementary School is at the intersection of 705 and the Mileground. The BOE has publicly said it cannot build this school on the existing Woodburn site, BUT indicated in its application to the School Building Authority (SBA) that building on the existing Woodburn site is indeed an option.
SAVE THESE DATES & MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!
Tuesday, June 22, 6:00 at University High School…Public Hearing for closing Easton Elementary
Thursday, June 24, 6:00 at Morgantown High School…Public Hearing for closing Woodburn Elementary
>>> ◄ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE ► <<<
A. Contact all BOE members via e-mail and telephone. Tell them you want them to build on the current Woodburn site as they indicated is an option in their proposal to the SBA. 1) It is a site they already own and is not undermined. 2) Tell them not to spend millions on undermined Mileground land and then spend additional millions filling up old mine works like they did on the new UHS site.
BOE Member E-mail addresses:
President Nancy Walker: firstname.lastname@example.org 304-599-4870
Joe Statler: email@example.com 304-879-5773
Mike Kelly firstname.lastname@example.org 304-292-7094
Clarence Harvey email@example.com 304-296-6377
Barbara Parsons firstname.lastname@example.org 304-292-0134
B. Contact West Virginia University and tell them you do not want them to sell state property. Especially property that is severely undermined with a very high potential for subsidence at a price of $325,000 per acre (total $2.275-2.6 million) Contact: Narvel Weese: Narvel.Weese@mail.wvu.edu or 304-293-2545
C. Attend the meetings above and take 5 minutes to tell why you want the new school built in Woodburn.
◄ INFORMATION TO USE IN YOUR COMMUNICATIONS ►
1. The BOE has maintained all along that it could not use the current Woodburn site for a new school. However, the official proposal that was funded by the SBA clearly indicates that rebuilding on the current Woodburn site is an option (SOURCE: Mon BOE NEEDS proposal to SBA dated September 23, 2009).
2. The current Woodburn site does not have the Pittsburgh coal seam underneath it and is not subject to the same subsidence issues as any site on the Mileground (SOURCE: Dr. Alan Donaldson, former Chair of Geology & Geography at West Virginia University).
3. The proposed/preferred Mileground site at the intersection of 705 and the Mileground is severely undermined and has “a very high potential for subsidence.” (SOURCE: TRIAD Engineering report to the Mon BOE dated March 9, 2010).
4. The Mon BOE planned to spend $1,178,189 to fill old mine works on the UHS site and ended up spending an additional $695,936.90 before they could even start work on a building. (SOURCE: Mon BOE Certificate for Payment to Howard Concrete for UHS mine grouting).
5. The lack of information along with the misinformation released by the Mon BOE has made it very difficult for meaningful citizen input. A few examples:
Statement by the project architect, Ted Shriver, that it didn’t appear that the proposed Mileground site was undermined (SOURCE: Made at the March 23, 2010 BOE meeting). This statement made publicly even though the TRIAD Engineering report stating otherwise was in hand).
Statements and presumptions made by the architect and BOE members that the SBA would not consider the Woodburn site and that the process of requesting a waiver to the preferred site size requirements was a drawn out process that had not been successful (SOURCE: said at the March 23, 2010 BOE meeting). The SBA later indicated that waivers have been granted and that the process of requesting a waiver requires only a letter to the SBA attached to the proposal. (SOURCE: meeting between SBA Executive Director and three Woodburn residents on April 12, 2010)
Board member e-mail information supposedly being on the BOE website, but it was not (SOURCE: May 12, 2010 BOE meeting. Verification on May 13, 2010 confirmed with the Superintendent’s office that the information was NOT on the website).
Information about the Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan supposedly sent home with students, yet both Woodburn and Easton confirmed nothing had gone out as they were waiting on information from the BOE (SOURCE: Conflicting stories uncovered in conversations with Woodburn administration and Dr. Frank Devono on May 12, 2010).
Faux site review process that allegedly gave fair assessments to the existing Woodburn site, the old UHS site on Willey Street and the “site near or along the Mileground” as it was then being referred to. Information was withheld, including the exact location of the Mileground site and geo-technical information about the Mileground area site (SOURCE: from review team members who severely criticized the “review” process as bogus and a farce; TRIAD Engineering report for the site located “near or along the Mileground.”)
ABOUT THE MEETINGS
What they are for and what to expect
Easton Closure Hearing:
Tuesday, June 22, 6:00 at University High School
This meeting is to hear public comment on the BOE plans to close Easton. Each speaker will have 5 minutes to comment. The BOE will supposedly take this public input into consideration when they vote on whether or not to close Easton on June 29, 2010.
WHAT TO EXPECT: The BOE will make some introduction about the planned closure of Easton and ask for commentary. You can view the BOE justification for closing Easton at the BOE office, at Easton Elementary and at the Morgantown Public Library.
YOUR ACTION AT THIS MEETING: Take up to 5 minutes to speak your mind on the closing of Easton.
Woodburn Closure Hearing:
Thursday, June 24, 6:00 at Morgantown High School
This meeting is to hear public comment on the BOE plans to close Woodburn. Each speaker will have 5 minutes to comment. The BOE will supposedly take this public input into consideration when they vote on whether or not to close Easton on June 29, 2010.
WHAT TO EXPECT: The BOE will make some introduction about the planned closure of Woodburn and ask for commentary. You can view the BOE justification for closing Woodburn at the BOE office, at Woodburn Elementary and at the Morgantown Public Library.
YOUR ACTION AT THIS MEETING: Take up to 5 minutes to speak your mind on the closing of Woodburn.
BOE Special Meeting on Tuesday, June 29 at 12:00 noon
at the BOE office on S. High Street
At this brief meeting, the BOE will vote whether or not to close each school. Be assured they plan to vote to close both. Dr. Devono wanted the BOE members to vote at the conclusion of each hearing, but the Board decided to hold the vote a few days after conclusion of the meetings. Be there!!!!!
◄ More talking points ►
– The SBA wants badly to build a green school in Monongalia County and thinks that a school project with a net result of closing two neighborhood schools in favor of a new consolidated school on a previously undeveloped site that is 98% transportation dependent is somehow a green project. A high performance building can be built anywhere……green is much more than just a high performance building.
– The removal of neighborhood based schools in favor of fringe based larger schools is a primary cause of sprawl.
– This new project is happening without any coordination with several major planning projects underway in Morgantown, including the City Comprehensive Plan, the City Comprehensive Housing Study, the Downtown Strategic Plan and the WV Department of Highways planning process for dealing with Mileground traffic. In fact, the WV DOH only recently learned of the BOE plan to situate a school on the Mileground.
– Community based schools are critical for maintaining and stabilizing neighborhoods.
– The Council for Educational Facilities Planners International recommends neighborhood based schools over fringe based schools and recognizes that much of the country is turning away from consolidation and larger schools in favor of neighborhood based schools.
– The US Environmental Protection Agency echoes the recommendations of the Council for Educational Facilities Planners International.
– Neighborhood schools are safer, have more parental involvement and allow for greater after school use of the facility.
– The BOE states they want to do what is best for the children. Destabilizing the neighborhood our kids live in by removing the school is hardly in line with doing what is best.
– I’m sure you can come up with your own. Please come and make heartfelt statements. Don’t be afraid to let your emotions show. The BOE commented they would like to hear from folks other than Woodburn, so get your friends to come out as well.