ONLY ONE WAY TO FIND OUT – HIRE AN INDEPENDENT PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER TO INSPECT EASTWOOD ELEMENTARY
Today on WAJR, a West Virginia Division of Highways (DOH) representative noted that DOH contractors recently blasted the bedrock in front of Eastwood Elementary to dig to grade the impending multi-lane, state highways roundabout.
- Recall: this large roundabout is a mere few hundred feet in front of Eastwood’s main entrance.
- Recall: most or all of this area is undermined.
- Recall: the BOE reportedly pumped more than a million dollars of mine-fill grout into the mine voids beneath the Eastwood school building and beneath the playground into the school heating/cooling geothermal well in an effort to “reduce” the chance that the ground would subside and destabilize the school.
The above factors amount to plenty of risk and a lot of uncertainty. That risk and uncertainty was intensified by the recent roundabout blasting by the DOH contractors, mentioned today on WAJR.
Consequently, the BOE and DOH should hire an independent Professional Engineer, or three, to newly inspect the structural integrity of the school building and the stability of the schoolgrounds before a single student steps foot on that school campus or in that school building.
Over two and a half years ago, we reported on these threats to the students, as did the Charleston Daily Mail, based upon Triad Engineering’s analysis:
According to a recent TRIAD geotechnical report based on bore samples, subsidence (“troughing” cracking of the sandstone) is likely on the proposed school grounds as the School District only will grout under the proposed buildings. Even grouting apparently cannot guarantee no subsidence.
Ry Rivard at the Charleston Daily Mail reports:
Morgantown-based Triad Engineering found there is “very high subsidence potential” at the [proposed Mileground] site. Subsidence is the settling or downward motion of earth. … The report found that, “subsidence events, 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,” the report found. … “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, as will the loading imposed by the new structure(s),” Triad engineers said.
Today, we should ask:
Is the DOH building the WV 705 / US 119 (Mileground) roundabout in front of the school on top of mine voids?
Did the DOH compromise, that is, blowup, the base of Eastwood Elementary while blasting for the Mileground roundabout?
And so today we insist:
The BOE and the DOH must hire independent Professional Engineers to newly examine the stability of the Eastwood Elementary schoolgrounds and the structural integrity of the Eastwood Elementary school building.
GETTING SCHOOLED IN THE TEETH OF CONSTRUCTION – WITH A FORTHCOMING SHEETZ GAS STATION?
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A large multi-lane roundabout is being built by WV Division of Highways (DOH) this year adjacent to the impending Eastwood Elementary site at the intersection of WV 705 and US 119/Mileground Road. The Monongalia County BOE is entirely irresponsibly planning a March opening of Eastwood Elementary, right smack in the middle of major highway construction, at the tail end of the school year. As noted previously:
Of course, it is ridiculous, irresponsible, and especially dangerous to move into the consolidated intersection school of Eastwood in “spring” when there would be only a few weeks of school left, about 6 weeks (if few or no snow days; the second to last week of May is the scheduled last week of school in Monongalia County for 2013). The bus routes and classroom shifting and other building logistics are daunting, and area drivers would not have time to adjust to the impending roundabout if it is even built by then [update: It will not be; thus, school access would be difficult and provisional]. Plus, the adjacent highways’ congestion will not only remain but is expected to worsen dramatically for an additional year or two or more, both given the imposition of Eastwood and pending construction of the additional lanes on the Mileground. (Even with additional lanes across the Mileground, congestion is only expected to be reduced not eliminated. Meanwhile traffic crashes are expected to increase, at what is already a hot-spot for smash-ups.) As explained in previous posts, there is no reason of any sort, contractual or otherwise, why Monongalia County Schools could not, at the very least, delay any shift to the consolidated intersection school and every reason why it should.
Monongalia County Schools and the West Virginia School Building Authority and the West Virginia state Board of Education entirely lacked the common sense to keep a brand new elementary school away from a major commuter and commercial intersection. The fault primarily lies with the irresponsible and incompetent decision-making of Monongalia County Schools Superintendent Frank Devono and WV School Building Authority Director Mark Manchin, along with the lackey and willfully ignorant county and state boards of education, which evidently serve as mindless rubber stamps to the odious.
[update: WAJR reports “Students that currently attend Easton Elementary and Woodburn Elementary will be able to attend their new school after the Easter break in early April.”]
Will the school zone speed limit law be enforced?
Will Sheetz gas station move in?