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BOE Hearing highlights Troy closure

With the ominous proposal to close Troy Elementary School effective July 1 of this year, many community and county folks attended the special meeting to hear what would be said.
And, that turned out to be quite a number of questions, though the meeting was short.

All told, 14 people signed into the meeting - and others who showed up didn't bother to sign in, but none chose to speak. BOE Superintendent Ron Blankenship seemed surprised at this and took center stage to explain a few things and make a few adjustments to the timeline.

Citing the fact that "construction at the new location [in Lewis County] is behind," he indicated that it would not be possible to finish the buildings to accept students by August 2014. Therefore, he spoke of extending it a year and welcoming the first classes in August of 2015.

Blankenship indicated he and the other Board members had held numerous meetings with the staff, faculty, and support personnel regarding the transition. According to the most current plans, the new school will be able to accommodate 400 total students from both counties. It will be run by a "governing council," which will be composed of a 50-50 Lewis-Gilmer membership. A question was raised about voting "ties" made by the council, and Blankenship indicated ties would go to Lewis County.

Ms. Kyre-Anna Minney spoke up expressing that this would not be the case involving personnel and hiring - at least initially. How this would play out is, the Governing Council will have a list of the employees from both schools, and, people on this list would have seniority over anyone else who might want to work at the school. From this list, the new school's personnel would be hired by the Governing Council.

Further questions were raised about the location of the new school. Mainly, why was it across the county line in Lewis County? Blankenship recounted that several sites in both counties were examined including a site near Cedar Creek State Park and another one at the site of the "old auction barn' west of Glenville. But, the consensus was, that the current construction site was the most advantageous and centrally-located. This still didn't sit well with some of the crowd, who were annoyed with the fact that students who currently don't have much of a bus trip would be required to endure an extended one.

The meeting adjourned at 6:16 p.m. Attendees of this important meeting included: Carl Armour; Gregory Bailey; Betty Jenkins; Tracy Arnold; Shannon Butcher; Jackie Howes; Katrina Howes; Ted Shriver; David Corcoran, Jr.; Joe Frashure; Dave Ramezan; Cherri West; Kim Bonnett; Kyre-Anna Minney; and Nichole Moyers.