2018-01-17 / School News

School calendar changed; contractor hired for high school renovations

by Kate Evans

The Morgan County School Board approved their draft 2017-2018 school calendar at their January 9 meeting with the following changes:

Monday, April 9 will be changed to a full day of school for students. The Monday, April 9 Faculty Senate Day will be moved to Friday, April 27.

The board adopted the calendar changes because the SAT test for juniors will be taken online on Tuesday, April 10 statewide. School Superintendent Erich May said students should be in school the day before testing. Berkeley County also changed April 9 to a full day of school.

Renovations contractor

The school board approved awarding the contract for the Berkeley Springs High School Building C and D renovations to W. Harley Miller, pending approval of the West Virginia School Building Authority.

School Treasurer Ann Bell said five contractors bid on the project. The project cost was estimated at $5.2 to $5.4 million and W. Harley Miller’s bid was $4.78 million.

Graduation discussion

The school board discussed what to do about the Berkeley Springs High School graduation ceremony since the high school gymnasium will be under renovation then.

The board decided to hold graduation outside in the football field rain or shine instead of moving it to another location. The middle school gym is too small to accommodate students, guests and staff and other possible locations were out of town.

Plans are to hold the high school graduation ceremony earlier -- possibly at 5:30 p.m. instead of 6:30 p.m. -- in case the ceremony must be changed due to thunderstorms. Energy management update

The school board approved payment number five for the Morgan County Schools Guaranteed Energy Savings Contract in the amount of $74,539 as approved by CMTA. It also approved a deductive change order for bulk material equipment purchase for $0.

CMTA mechanical engineer and project manager Casey Borst updated board members on the project. She said the middle school heating units are all installed. Work at the board office is completed.

Crews have been working on the building controls for the last few months to commission the systems. She said the energy payoff is smaller now since they’re continuing to fix minor things and optimize the systems.

The high school and intermediate school are next for the controls. Widmyer Elementary will be done this summer.

Energy usage is going down and the comfort and safety of the kids is most important, Borst said. School Superintendent May told Borst the new Morgan County Schools sign their company donated was greatly appreciated. The sign is located at the school board office.

Print management

School Treasurer Ann Bell and Technology Director Tom Shade reported on the countywide print management plan. Shade said staff could monitor all printing needs now through the central office because of their network infrastructure. The school system undertook a study with local company Document Solutions to see how they could save on printing costs.

Shade said schools were spending $90,000 a year on printing and toner cartridges, which didn’t include numbers of copies and how much paper was used. They reduced the cost to $77,000 annually.

Bell said they’ll be giving up desktop printers except in some areas with confidentiality that will be taken into account that will include counselors and others.


Board member Pete Gordon noted the sad news of former teacher Ed Weber passing away. Gordon said Weber was a great human being and educator and would be greatly missed. Board member John Rowland noted that Weber was also a superior athlete that held the school record for running the mile for 30 years.

Superintendent evaluation

The school board went into executive session at the end of their January 9 meeting for a personnel matter. School Superintendent May said on Friday that the school board decidedtoadda9a.m. Thursday, February 1 meeting for the superintendent evaluation.

The board is required to conduct his evaluation by March 1, May noted. He expected the meeting to largely be conducted in executive session, but said the board may have a statement afterward.

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