State BOE hears report on structural problems at Lincoln County Schools

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State education leaders are revealing more details in a report focused on addressing structural problems at Lincoln County Schools.

Matt Hicks

Members of the state Board of Education approved the latest Special Circumstance Review of the school system conducted from Aug. 30-Sept. 3.

The team spent the past several months focusing on the county’s facilities and reported on 14 district-wide findings and 19 district-wide corrective actions. Those findings included problems with HVAC units.

“Multiple facilities have HVAC equipment that is operating past the equipment’s expected life span, about 12-15 years. There are some faculty concerns with heat or cooling,” Matt Hicks, director of the state Department of Education’s Office of Accountability, told the board last week during a meeting in Charleston.

The items also included restricting access to areas that posed safety risks.

“Most mechanical, electrical and custodial spaces were not properly maintained, had various levels of trash, clutter and unrelated materials that could restrict access to that equipment,” Hicks said.

Some school roofs need to be repaired too, Hicks said.

Jeff Kelley

“Roofs across the country haven’t been appropriately maintained. We observed multiple examples of vegetation growth, different debris, obstructive roof drains,” he said.

The county is pursuing SBA loans for a potential consolidation of Duval Pre K-8 and Midway Elementary schools in Alum Creek. While that process plays out, Superintendent Jeff Kelley said they are focusing on safety. He told board members the repairs will be made by each individual school.

“Some of this stuff can be handled at the school by the school. Some of it is going to be county level stuff. Some of it is going to be bigger than that. We’ll prioritize those things,” Kelley said.

To view the Lincoln County report, CLICK HERE.

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