Time to Clean House

DISTINCT PATTERN OF RECENT LOUSY NEW SCHOOL SITING AND BUILDING

Skyview Elementary opened in 2006 above Morgantown Industrial Park. Mylan Park Elementary opened in 2006 on a former strip mine of the sort on which toxic coal ash was commonly dumped. Both schools were built isolated from residential areas, and yet neither school has a ballfield: none of the playground areas were made big enough to contain one, no fields, and no walking tracks. Meanwhile the current Woodburn Elementary school set to be closed in two years has both a field and a walking track, and it was not built at a mine, nor above an industrial park. Evacuations due to industrial park smoke such as happened at Skyview and Westwood?: not possible. Air and soil complications from being built on a mine, such as at Mylan Park or at the proposed Mileground site?: not possible at Woodburn. Moreover, the proposed new school on Woodburn grounds does include a field, one that has room for a walking track.

And still the school board claims there is not enough space to rebuild on Woodburn schoolgrounds: “like a shoe that doesn’t quite fit.” But then these are the same school board members who oversaw the building of large remote Skyview Elementary above an industrial park, the building of large Mylan Park Elementary at a mine site, and the building of remote and isolated University High School which opened in 2008 on land that cost nearly $2 million to mine-fill and to this day bears and abuts the hazards of open mine portals, a “sludge pond,” tipples, and a slag pile. Lovely obstacles and dangers for cross-country practices, meets, and the occasional student explorer. Apparently the WV DEP has requested permission to survey these hazards and would likely use tax money in the future for the safety clean-up and fixes required. Once again, outside intervention required for the BOE. And apparently outside initiative. And more money. Quite a pattern.

So it truly is time to clean up the mess of the schools, time to clean house in Monongalia County Schools. Where to start?

Everywhere. The public must insist that Monongalia County Schools’ pattern of negligence, disregard of public well-being, impropriety, and appearance of impropriety not continue in any manner or matter, and especially in regard to the ongoing demented attempt to site a green elementary school at the high-traffic, congested, undermined 705/119 intersection on the Mileground.

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