Randolph County Searching for Solution to Crumbling School
The Randolph County Board of Education has called a special meeting for Tuesday evening to address structural problems with the Harman School. The facility suffered a roof collapse over the July 4th weekend.
A plaster ceiling caved into a classroom, bringing with it two tons of debris. A post-collapse inspection of the school, built in the 1950s, determined it is not safe for use.
That presents logistical and financial issues for the Randolph County Board of Education.
The first day of school in Randolph County is August 14th – a little over two weeks away.
Approximately 170 students from Pre-K through 12th grade attend Harman School, which employs about 28 teachers and staff.
Superintendent of Schools Terry George recommends relocating the students until he can identify funding to repair the school and repairs can be completed.
A consulting firm has recommended:
- demolishing the old plaster ceilings throughout the school and replacing them with suspended ceilings;
- inspecting conditions above the plaster ceilings;
- determining whether any additional structural repairs are needed;
- replacing lights, fans and electrical wiring; and
- replacing and upgrading the fire alarm system.
The consultant estimated the cost of repairs would be at least $175,000, not including classrooms. Full repairs could take closer to $750,000 or more.
Some parents have voiced concerns about relocating the students and the long bus rides that would result.
The meeting is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. in the Elkins High School theatre. The board chose that location in anticipation of a large public turnout.
The meeting agenda is available here.