HARMAN, W.Va. — It appears there’s a growing chance that students at Harman School in Randolph County will have to begin the new school year at schools in Elkins because of a structure problem at their school.
Randolph County School Superintendent Terry George told MetroNews Monday he’ll ask the county school board Tuesday night to give him authority to seek alternative funding for the repairs, allow him to start the repairs once the funding is secured and allow him to move the students to other schools until the work can be done.
A large section of plaster fell from the ceiling in one of the rooms. George said the state Fire Marshal’s Office and architectural firm inspected the damage and determined the building was not safe for children until repairs can be made.
“It’s just simply that, a safety issue,” Superintendent George said. “I cannot place students in a facility that’s unsafe for them.”
Harman has 150 students from elementary through high school. The students would be sent to Elkins High, Elkins Middle and an elementary school if that has to be done.
George said it would take about $175,000 of repairs to get the building ready for elementary students and as much as $775,000 to remediate the entire area. He’s asked the state School Building Authority for funding and also is looking in other areas.
The bus ride from Harman to Elkins is 26 miles and over a mountain. The school year begins Aug. 14 so Superintendent George said beginning the school year in Elkins may indeed have to happen for the Harman students.
“It’s likely but I’m not going to rule out the impossible,” he said.