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Jason Ward hired as principal at Williamstown High School

Superintendent says cullet at Fenton site to be addressed

Wood County Schools Superintendent Will Hosaflook gives an update Tuesday to the Wood County Board of Education. The board hired Jason Ward to be the new principal at Williamstown High School. (Photo by Michael Erb)

PARKERSBURG — The Wood County Board of Education on Tuesday hired Jason Ward as the new principal of Williamstown High School.

Ward replaces Principal Pat Peters, who retired earlier this month after health issues took him out of the position for most of the 2017-18 school year.

“We’re looking for great things out of Mr. Ward,” Superintendent Will Hosaflook said after the meeting. “He has a great vision for Williamstown High School. I believe he will continue to move the school forward.”

Ward was hired as assistant principal at the school in February. Peters was part of the hiring committee which recommended Ward for the assistant principal position.

Ward did not attend Tuesday’s meeting, where he was unanimously approved by the board. His 261-day principal’s contract begins today.

The board Tuesday also approved Kaleb Lawrence as assistant principal for Parkersburg South High School. The 225-day contract begins July 25.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Hosaflook said officials had made progress on determining a course of action for removing unfired cullet from the site of the new Williamstown-area elementary school.

The school is being built on the site of the former Fenton Art Glass plant in Williamstown, and when crews removed pavement from a parking lot they found cullet, which is chunks of glass, mixed with metal powders. Those metals, which include cobalt, arsenic and lead, are known to be toxic to humans if inhaled or ingested.

Last week, testing company Potesta presented the school board with three options: to remove the cullet and rebury it in a cement vault located onsite, to remove the cullet and have it sent to an outside agency for disposal, or to remove only a portion of the cullet to be buried onsite and cap the remaining cullet under the foundation of the school.

Burying all or a portion of the cullet on-site would cost an estimated $100,000-$200,000, while officials estimated sending it off-site could cost $400,000 to upwards of $1 million if it needed to be sent out of state.

Hosaflook said officials estimate 3,000 cubic yards of soil will need to be removed, and Potesta now believes that material can be taken off-site at a cost closer to $400,000.

“That was great news for us,” Hosaflook said.

The superintendent cautioned, however, this was an estimate given by the testing company, not a quote from Swope Construction which is the agency working on the school.

“We’re in a holding pattern right now, but I know (sending the cullet off-site) was on everybody’s minds,” Hosaflook said.

Board member Ron Tice said he was disappointed no one from the Williamstown area came Tuesday to address the board concerning the excavation at Fenton. Hosaflook said the item will be brought to the board next week for further discussion and possible action.

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