The Fate of Skyview Elementary


Should Skyview Elementary School be closed permanently? 3 years and done? Should it have been built in the first place?

Opened in 2006, Skyview (consolidated) Elementary sits far from residential areas and uphill from Morgantown Industrial Park. Think about that for a moment. What a brilliant location for the lungs of young children! Now, with an impending new road and upgraded water and sewer lines, the Industrial Park is set to expand.

[A rather prophetic update: Marcellus shale natural gas development in the adjacent Industrial Park shows even more clearly how terrible is the Skyview school site. See post: Skyview Elementary To Be Hit By Gas Well Air Pollution? ANOTHER NEGLIGENT MON SCHOOLS ELEMENTARY SITE.]

First, such school siting is flat wrong in more ways than one as we have documented in detail at this site. Schools and schoolchildren benefit from being located in neighborhoods. And vice versa.

Second, in 2009, Skyview Elementary had to be closed in the midst of the school day (along with next-door Westwood Middle) due to Industrial Park “smoke [that] got into the schools’ ventilation systems and filled the buildings with smoke.”

During such an incident the previous year apparently, the students were not evacuated and “had to deal with it.” One wonders (and the School District should test for) what difficult-to-detect toxins on a more regular basis pass into the school ventilation systems there above the soon to expand Industrial Park.

Now two of the three playgrounds at Skyview are closed and wrapped with yellow hazard tape stating: “CAUTION BURIED GAS LINE BELOW”.

Playground Closed. To be re-opened? What size of gas line, exactly, and why is it buried near an elementary school (or under it?) and under its playgrounds?

In future posts, we will look more at the pattern of other ill-advised recent school building sites: Mylan Park Elementary School, University High School (currently in the news), and again the proposed 705/119 intersection green school versus a revitalized Woodburn school.

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