Eastwood On The Mileground Is A Money Pit And A Menace


Parents at Woodburn Elementary and other schools scramble to raise some funds for their children’s futher educational opportunities and meanwhile the Monongalia County Board of Education burns through cash like it was the best fuel available.

Take a look at the $650,000 figure to be spent on grouting beneath Eastwood Elementary at the Mileground site. No one knows if the cost will cap out there. Might go a lot higher. But regardless, now, add $400,000 in additional grouting expense needed to stabilize the geothermal field that will be used to heat the school (reported in the Dominion Post today).

Now the projected mine mitigation cost for Eastwood on the Mileground is over a million dollars, nearly the projected mine mitigation costs of University High which was badly underestimated, since the final cost came in just shy of two million dollars. Is that what Eastwood will cost to mine mitigate? Two million dollars? More than one million is already bad enough. That’s all the candy and cookie fundraisers put together for the past many decades.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of bullshit expense at a menacing site. Or, we should say, human shit expense, because as far as is known, the Mileground trailer park dumps its sewage directly into the mines beneath the schoolgrounds and always has.

Question of the day sent in from a concerned citizen: Does grout set up in shit?

Apparently so. Because certain officials’ brains seemed to have been cemented into immobility a long time ago.

Meanwhile, your children’s educational opportunities are lost to the sewage of the mines.

Once again, let’s make clear: far better, far more appropriate options exist:

Two, not one, badly needed modest-sized and cost-effective new schools could and should be built to replace Woodburn Elementary and Easton Elementary (rather than the 1 consolidated Eastwood) and possibly both on land that County Board already owns: the existing Woodburn school grounds, and the sprawling 94 acre University High School campus (which sits on the border of Easton Elementary’s catchment). This would be a lawful and far more appropriate action and solution. Mon Schools has been utterly deaf to it.

The Eastwood Mileground site not only wastes a stupendous amount of money in many ways, it does so to bad, negligent effect. What a great place for a school at that commuter and commercial bottleneck and vortex. The mounting stupidities and display of contempt for the well-being and for the needs of the public – working commuters, parents, and the students not least – continue to escalate. The Superintendent may not be able to site the school near Pennsylvania as he has threatened, but his current best plan is to route the Woodburn area students part of the way up to Pennsylvania and then back – taking them from the city and running them around for miles in the county and country before returning them to the city in which they live – in a roundabout five or six mile loop on some of the most congested highways of the greater Morgantown area, because the site is so horribly located buses can’t make a left turn from the school drive to be able to travel the half mile back to Woodburn.

County Board must pay prime commercial property rates ($325,000/acre) for the Mileground land. Because schools are not profit-generating entities, and because other much less costly (and free) and higher quality (let alone lawful) sites are available, the expense is unjustifiable, even without factoring in the expensive mine mitigation and other special remediation needs of the polluted site. And what price tag does one put on the health damages and safety hazards of Eastwood’s vehicle exhaust air polluted, congested, high traffic, arterial highways intersection site? Never mind incalculable civil liability costs. A few school buses sideswiped in the impending roundabout, a rash of asthma attacks due to vehicle exhaust air pollution, toxic fumes and traffic from the proposed bordering Sheetz gas station, a few cases of childhood leukemia…no claim by Mon Schools of any ignorance of these damages or dangers will be viable in a lawsuit, nor should it be.

And meanwhile, there your child’s educational opportunities would sit, in the sewage cemented in the mines.

How should Woodburn area students get home from Sewage Elementary? Since Mon Schools seems to love to play in the mines so much, maybe they could dig a mine tunnel to Woodburn for those students. Let them ride in a coal car through the sewage. Might even be less expensive and more healthy! than busing them in a circle for an hour or so each day in vehicle exhaust congestion. Yes, by all means, Mon Schools, get those children with all their needs right into that mine sewer. They will be wearing their Eastwood Mileground HazMat suit school uniforms, so surely they will be safe, and well-educated, using the mines each day. Hope the grout holds!

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