Committee to provide Wood BOE with project updates

PARKERSBURG -Committee updates – one old and one new – will highlight tonight’s Wood County Board of Education meeting.

The Williamstown Elementary New School Steering Committee will meet with the board tonight. The newly formed committee will provide board members an update and site discussion. Ryan Taylor, with Pickering Associates, will provide board members a update timeline on the work at Stadium Field.

Officials will also get an overview of the schedule of events as work proceeds. Contracts for the demolition of the homeside stands are to be opened today. Work should start within the next two weeks.

A new Williamstown Elementary is the top priority in the county’s comprehensive education facilities plan. Costs to build an elementary school would run about $10 million.

The first step in a new school is identifying a suitable building site. A new elementary school is going to require 8-10 acres of land. Williamstown Elementary sits on three acres.

Sue Woodward, assistant superintendent of schools, said the building is more than 100 years old and holds classrooms in the basement. Emergency repairs have been done on the roof, and transmitting enough electricity through the facility to run modern equipment is a hurdle. The building is not handicapped accessible. Handicapped students who reside in Williamstown have to attend (elementary) school elsewhere.

Officials are also anticipating an employment hearing request from Amanda Terrell, concerning her re-employment. Terrell, a second-year teacher, was suspended earlier this year over the “Bad Kid Fort” incident. She was one of three educators whose contract was not renewed by school officials.

Greg Merritt, president of the Wood County AFT, said Monday he had not yet been made aware of request but assumed it was forthcoming.

“I would assume, but I do not know,” he said.

Woodward said she has the right to request a hearing in front of the board. The hearing was not on the BOE agenda but could be on today’s addendum.

Merritt said Terrell has 10 (working) days after receiving written notification from school officials her contract was not being renewed to request a hearing. Merritt said he thought that window could allow Terrell to make request for a hearing at the board’s April 23 meeting.

Board members will also consider the recommendation approval of transfer of Mike Fling, principal at Neale Elementary School, to the assistant superintendent of school services. Fling is being tapped to replace Woodward, who is retiring in June after 40 years of service.