Before We Throw All The Rest In A Hole!
WVU: We Will Gladly Assist.
WILDLY DIFFERENT SITE APPRAISALS
Value of the high traffic 7 acre intersection site for the green school?
Appraiser hired by Monongalia County Schools: $70,000/acre = $490,000.
Appraiser for WVU: $325,000/acre = $2,275,000.
A difference of 78 percent or: $1,785,000.
Price Monogalia County Schools taxpayers will pay?: $2,275,000.
PLUS: an estimated $650,000 for mine mitigation.
And much more if the whole thing in the future subsides regardless.
[UPDATE: Instead of 7 acres, Mon Schools purchased about 11 and a half acres at the top rate noted above and reportedly incurred an additional $400,000 mine mitigation expense under part of the additional acreage, in addition to the $600,000 amount noted above. In other words, the Eastwood Mileground site purchase and mine mitigation alone cost about $4.7 million – as far as is known. A few years ago, neighboring Taylor County built a 300 student capacity elementary school for $6.6 million. The 450 student capacity Eastwood Elementary project is on track to cost more than $20 million, due in large part to the scandalously costly nature of the site chosen by Mon BOE. ]
Triad Engineering estimates that “over 70 percent of the coal has been removed beneath” the usable land of the school site. Triad found a 6 foot 6 inch tall mine void about 50 feet below ground via one bore drilling and by way of another hit a remaining coal pillar about 48 feet below ground.
Thus Triad’s work tells us that about 50 feet below more than 70 percent of the school grounds is a void nearly seven feet deep.
What does $650,000 worth of mine mitigation buy?:
“grouting the existing mine void…will substantially reduce the potential for future subsidence movements…” [which] “…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…”
$650,000 buys less chance of ground collapse. Under the school building, that is. The rest of the schoolgrounds – parking lots, playgrounds – will not be grouted and are free to subside as nature decrees:
“It’s probable that the weight of the overburden [ground] is gradually crushing the remaining coal pillars, which could lead to some trough subsidence…”
Or, well, not quite nature alone:
“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…”
But when you’ve got money to burn like Monongalia County Schools, what’s a few more bucks down the old mine hole?
Your money. Your children. You like it?
Oh, and, what the mines don’t get, the traffic will. 24/7.