SUMMARY ARTICLE IN THE PAPERS
AP FEATURED NEWS / Tuesday May 10, 2011 / Green school back in court
May 10–If Tony Christini has his way, every one of those bids the Monongalia County Schools Board of Education (BOE) opens today will be stamped, “Return to Sender.” At 2 p.m. in the school district’s central offices, BOE members will consider bids from contractors for site preparation work at the Mileground address that might be the future home of Eastwood Elementary School, which is set to open for classes in August 2012.
Eastwood is a planned, environmentally friendly “green” school that will consolidate the aging Woodburn and Easton elementary schools.
Around nine contractors have bid on the initial site preparation work, BOE construction manager Randy Graft said Monday.
That initial work includes all earth-moving and mine stabilization grouting at the site, he said.
Bids will then be sent to Charleston and the state School Building Authority for review, Graft said. After that, the BOE will hopes to award the low bid during its regular meeting May 24.
“Everything should be good to go after that,” he said.
But four days before that, May 20, another entity in Charleston will consider the project by looking at another set of parameters.
Judge James Stucky of Kanawha County Circuit Court will consider Christini’s request for a temporary restraining order against the project. The court date is 3 p.m. that day, Christini said.
If the request goes through, it will stop all the digging, drilling and other preparation work necessary at the site, which bumps the back of the National Guard Armory at the intersection of Mileground Road and W.Va. 705.
The BOE last November bought the 8.85-acre expanse from WVU for nearly $2.9 million, or $325,000 an acre.
Christini, whose young son attends Woodburn, has long said both his son’s school and neighboring Easton need to be closed.
However, he said, the Mileground’s traffic congestion and dense commercial district — everything from a car dealership to a strip club — doesn’t lend itself to an environmentally friendly locale.
He said the board was either ignorant or arrogant in its dealings with parents and the community as it looked at 19 possible sites for the as-yet unbuilt school, including the Mileground.
Mon Schools Superintendent Frank Devono, who was out of town and unavailable for comment Monday, said earlier the board has complied with state regulations and other particulars concerning the project.
Barbara Parsons, BOE president, echoed that Monday.
“We’re just proceeding,” she said. “It’s business as usual, unless something changes.”
In February, Christini attempted to file an injunction in Kanawha Circuit Court to halt the construction, but he isn’t an attorney — and the case was kicked out because of procedural errors.
Judge Jennifer Bailey, though, gave him the chance to refile, which he did. If the case gets booted on another technicality, he said, he’ll go at it again.
And again, after that.
“We’ll appeal to the state Supreme Court, if we have to,” he said.
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