THE DANGEROUS AND DESTRUCTIVE INCOMPETENCE OF THE MONONGALIA COUNTY SCHOOLS BOARD OF EDUCATION
The New Woodburn Community School Initiative is opposed to Monongalia County Schools and the WV School Building Authority’s decision to build a new “green” elementary school (with state and federal stimulus funds) at the intersection of route 705 and 119 on the “Mileground” in Morgantown on expensive and undermined WVU farmland that WVU seems all too willing to sell. We are opposed to a school being built there for many reasons, especially including the myriad threats to our children’s health, safety, and well-being, which are spelled out in great detail at this website.
It’s ironic, the current Monongalia County School Board President Barbara Parsons is the Director of Educational Services at Monongalia General Hospital, and has been so for nearly 20 years. She helps people learn about health issues. She helps people get health screenings, and yet seems oblivious to the health dangers and costs of siting an elementary school at a busy intersection, dangers that would threaten or harm our children on a daily basis, and that would open Monongalia County Schools to liability and negligence lawsuits regarding our children’s health and safety now and for years to come.
So it is, regrettably, that we are forced to appeal to state and other agencies for intervention.
The 705/119 Mileground intersection is an unhealthy, unsafe, dangerous location for an elementary school. A traffic fatality occurred there just this past week. The intersection and roads are congested with traffic, are air polluted and sound polluted. An imminent major road expansion is going to increase the traffic, especially with the completion of the nearby Mon-Fayette Expressway and the airport business park.
Monongalia Schools could build on revitalized Woodburn school grounds, but has irresponsibly decided to waste money in abandoning the established neighborhood and contribute to congestion and sprawl in proposing to buy expensive terribly situated land. The seven acre proposed school grounds would cost $2.3 million to acquire from WVU (which denied the school district somewhat better situated land). Plus the undermining of the proposed school grounds is projected to cost $650,000 for grout to backfill. The last undermined school grounds backfilled by Mon Schools ran more than that amount over budget. According to a recent TRIAD geotechnical report based on bore samples, subsidence (“troughing” cracking of the sandstone) is likely on the proposed school grounds as the School District only will grout under the proposed buildings. Even grouting apparently cannot guarantee no subsidence.
Ry Rivard at the Charleston Daily Mail reports:
Morgantown-based Triad Engineering found there is “very high subsidence potential” at the [proposed Mileground] site. Subsidence is the settling or downward motion of earth. … The report found that, “subsidence events, should they occur at this location, will be created by the abrupt, catastrophic cracking and failure of the overlying sandstone. … Such a failure in close proximity to any proposed structure would cause sudden, severe damages,” the report found. … “The introduction of the heavy equipment necessary for site grading will likely precipitate cracking in the sandstone overlying the mine voids and increase the likelihood of a subsidence event in the future, as will the loading imposed by the new structure(s),” Triad engineers said.
How dangerous, unhealthy, and unsafe would an elementary school at a high traffic congested commuter and commercial intersection be? Seems obvious to us. In case the obvious is not enough, see here for starters: