ELKINS, W. Va. — The funds to repair the Harman School got a boost on Thursday.

The Randolph County Commission has approved $25,000 from coal severance funds toward the emergency repairs needed to get students back into the school.

With this added to anonymous donations, officials claim this brings the amount in the fund up to $55,000.

Superintendent Terry George originally estimated the emergency repairs to get the school operational would be about $175,000, but the estimate has since gone up. Also, this would only be for the minimum amount of repairs needed rather than full remediation, which is estimated to cost $775,000.

George is also pursuing other means of funding through grants and donations.

Harman students will begin the school year on August 14 in other area schools until the repairs are completed and the building is deemed safe.

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  • stophating

    In 2005, Joe Manchin started cutting business taxes to stimulate the economy (actually corporate welfare for his buddies), and since this time the amount of money available for building infrastructure and building and repairing schools have been greatly reduced....

    Let's give away more to big businesses....our kids can go to school in patched up army surplus tents.

  • Confused

    I wish people would get facts straight before they bash the BOE. The Randolph county residents rejected a bond levy vote earlier in the year. Included in that bond was money for facility upgrades at Harman, Coalton, and Homestead schools. Since the voters rejected the additional funding something has to be done with the aging buildings. If the voters are not going to allow the county to pass the levy then obviously the schools are going to close. It's only logical that the three schools that were slated for closure are #1 Three of the smallest schools in the county and # 2 Three of the oldest buildings in the county with the exception on Valley Head. It's not the BOE faults folks it's the citizens of Randolph County.

    • CaptainQ

      Ok Confused, you want to deal with MORE facts, how about these?

      FACT: The Randolph County B.O.E. tried to close both Valley Head Elementary and the Pickens K-12 School back in 1990. It was the STATE B.O.E. that stepped in and said NO! This is why those two school remain open to this day and so do the bitter feelings the folks in these communities have towards the School Board.

      FACT: Two years later, when the same Randolph County B.O.E. voted to close Coalton Middle & High School for the Elkins/Forest Hills High School consolidation, it caused many years of citizen uproar. These angry feelings also still exist to this day.

      Bottom line, can we simply call it coincidence that the Randolph County B.O.E. took the action they did on the Ten Year Plan immediately following the Levy vote defeat in 2012? I know there's been changes in the composition of the School Board over the years, that's understood, but the overall reputation of the Randolph County B.O.E. among the populous is one with a huge level of distrust. It's only natural for the people to think the worst of them, and slating Harman, Homestead and Coalton schools for closure does seem mean spirited in light of the fact that there's really no safe place to put all these misplaced students would those closures take place. First of all, the Elkins Middle School is ALREADY overcrowded. Bringing Harman's Middle School kids over there would make that situation worse. Also, the four Elementary school in Elkins (except North) are at near capacity level already. Where would you put all those Homestead, Harman and Homestead elementary kids? Elkins High School still has considerable 'room' in it for more students, so at least that end of it would be workable.

      Sorry to confuse you, Confused, but the weight of evidence in the 'court of public opinion' finds the Randolph County B.O.E. GUILTY of vengeful malice in putting those three schools on a closure list moments after the 2012 levy vote failed. It looks so much like the old, "either do things MY way, or I'll fix your little red wagon" attitude that THIS School Board's had demonstrated over the past decade.

      • CaptainQ

        "Where would you put all those Homestead, Harman and Homestead elementary kids?"

        Oops, meant to write:

        "Where would you put all those Homestead, Harman and COALTON elementary kids?"

        Too bad we can edit our posts on this MB.

        • CaptainQ

          I meant CAN'T edit our posts...

          (I did it again! LOL)

    • Frenchie

      Yes, the levy failed and thankfully so. Of my tax bill, three quarters of it went to the schools. And although the levy failed, the schools are still getting more of my tax money because the Randolph County Commission has made this donation. Funny. Funny. Funny.

    • northforkfisher

      Most people would not be afraid of a levy if the money would go to where it is supposed to.

    • John

      You can close them all down, especially after I seen what the last levy did to my taxes, almost doubled ! I will never vote for another levy after this mess nor will I ever trust the BOE again.

  • Jason412

    "With this added to anonymous donations, officials claim this brings the amount in the fund up to $55,000."

    I hope that's a typo on behalf of the reporter. Here is the quote from the earlier article

    "Two anonymous donors kicked of the funding at the meeting with a check of $50,000 and $5,000."

    My math says 50k+5k+25k is 80,000, not 55,000. I would hope it's a typo, but the realist in me says there's already 25k unaccounted for.

  • Teach

    Yeah! Don't give up! Keep asking! Parents and community need to keep asking BOE members and request money from the state!

  • CaptainQ

    Well, at least the plan the BOE submitted for the temporary placements of the Harman school kids will keep them together in their original classes with their original teachers. This makes an important statement for the continued unity of the Harman school students.

    Great move by the Randolph County Commission to give money to help fix up the Harman School. You can forget about receiving any funding (emergency or otherwise) from the SBA since they're more concerned about CLOSING smaller schools than they are about repairing them. My guess is, when all is said and done, Harman School will remain open just for K - 5 (or K - 8) and eventually all of the Harman High School students will be bused to Elkins High. The Randolph County B.O.E. may use this sad accident to their advantage to, at the very least, shut down Harman's 'High School' operations. Doubt if there's enough support for a complete consolidation of Harman and Elkins schools, but who knows? Already, elementary school kids from Kerens, Montrose and all points in northern Randolph County ride on school buses for as long as an hour to attend school in Elkins. Those ride times could be reduced some IF the rest of Corridor H is ever completed (good luck with that).

    Could Harman school be shut down completely? It's possible, but the more likely outcome is Harman school will become either Harman Elementary or Harman Elementary-Middle School in the future.

    • CaptainQ

      I feel compelled to amend my earlier comments on this issue. In the Elkins Inter-Mountain newspaper dated Thursday (8-7-14), the State B.O.E. DENIED emergency funding for the Harman repairs, citing a phone call the group received 50 minutes before their vote, the 'anonymous caller ' informing them that Harman School was slated for closure in 2017 according to a 10 year plan approved by the Randolph County B.O.E. in 2012. Apparently, according to the Inter-Mountain, this action was taken by the school board AFTER a school levy that would've provided funds to fix up Harman and two other school in the county FAILED in that same year.

      Can someone say, retaliation?

      So, looks like the Randolph County B.O.E. just got hoisted by their own petard. I stand corrected, apparently THIS school board DOES want to shut down Harman School or at least, they're on written record as wanting to do it.

    • Marion

      I know a lot of good folks down in Harman . Most of whom attended their entire school life in that building. Great teachers. A lot better education in small classrooms. I hope the residents of Randolph county remember who is on the school board come election time ! There is a lot more money out there the board can get a hold of for all the repairs . So don't give up ! Keep hounding them for more $$ !