Paden City High School students will be moved for 2024-2025 school year due to health concerns

Wetzel County Schools Superintendent Cassandra Porter announced on Tuesday evening that students at Paden City High School will be relocated to Magnolia High School for the upcoming school year.

In a letter to faculty and staff of Paden City High School, Magnolia High School and New Martinsville School, Porter stated:

“Pursuant to West Virginia Code ยง 18-4-10 (5), and due to the health risks associated with Paden City High School being located atop an EPA-designated Superfund site, all students and staff of Paden City High School will be relocated at the start of the 2024-2025 school year. Students in grades 7 and 8 will relocate to New Martinsville School. Students in grades 9 through 12 will relocate to Magnolia High School. The temporary closure of PCHS and reassignment of students and staff shall continue until further notice.”

Porter added: “The most effective hierarchy of safety controls is removing the threat or moving the people. When there is a simple and effective solution to a problem of this nature, the right course of action is clear. A wait-and-see approach with a tetrachlorothylene plume underneath a school is unreasonable and potentially dangerous. A lack of immodiate action could lead to unmanageable and regrettable losses. My commitment to providing our students with a safe and high-quality education, not to mention common sense, motivates me to act now.”

Paden City High School and Magnolia High School in New Martinsville are located less than six miles apart. PCHS has one of the smallest high school enrollments in West Virginia at around 160 students. Potential consolidation with Magnolia has been a topic of discussion in recent years. However, there is no indication in Porter’s announcement Tuesday that the relocation will extend beyond the 2024-2025 academic year.

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