Money To Burn



“At 450 students, this will still be a small school,” said former Mon BOE President Nancy Walker last year.

Are we reading those numbers correctly?

If so, the combined price of the congested and sound and air polluted Mileground intersection site and the planned new green elementary school comes to over $18 million.

Assuming all goes well.

Does it ever?

Has it so far?

Over $18 million for a “small” school.

(450 seats. That’s what the BOE is still claiming. Ludicrously.)

When was anything approaching an $18 million figure ever even suggested to the public?

Let’s do the math of some, probably not all, of the costs. Approximately:

$2.9  million for the site

$13.7  million for the “building area” (66,416 square feet, 450 student capacity)

$1.5  million for the “soft costs”


$18.1  million for Eastwood Elementary

It would seem that amount of money could instead build two new modest sized elementary schools, one on the Woodburn schoolgrounds, and one in the Easton area – and neither anywhere near the high traffic, congested, and air and sound polluted Mileground.

$18.1 million and still cramped and crowded in Monongalia County elementary schools.

What a scandal.

It’s a scandal that strikes a blow to not only the children of Woodburn and Easton Elementaries, but to the neighborhoods, to the city, to the countryside around Easton, to the commuters and other drivers…to just about everybody.

“It might not be that bad.”

No, it is that bad. And worse. On many levels.

How is it that Berkeley County, West Virginia is building a green school, only a fraction smaller, but seating 33 percent more students, for $5 million dollars less? (Or did they spend $5 million additional dollars on noise-and-air-polluted, traffic-jammed land, so that it all comes out even…except for the extra 150 students their school seats?)

West Virginia Public Broadcasting reports:

Spring Mills Primary is slated to open in the fall of 2011. The 64,000-square-foot building will accommodate up to 600 students in kindergarten through second grade. The cost to build the school is about $13 million…”

I guess that’s what happens when you buy the most expensive and nastiest land available: you ripoff the public and you dump the children by the traffic-jammed road.

Choked and dangerous intersection, you say? Who the hell cares! Time bomb? What time bomb? Let’s play in traffic, kids.

What a money-burning disaster in the making.


Don’t bet on it.

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