Construction projects underway for Mon County schools

MORGANTOWN — It’s been socked with bad weather and can chart its very beginning to a not-quite-there bankroll, but the South Middle School renovation project, like a student doing make-up work, is getting there.

Ted Shriver, the Charleston architect whose Williamson Shriver firm is doing the work, updated the Monongalia County Board of Education (BOE) during its regular meeting Monday night.

“South Middle is moving along,” he said.

“They’re actually applying paint, installing the ceiling grid and making preparations to the classroom HVAC units in.”

Masons and roofers have also started doing their work, Shriver said.

As reported earlier by the BOE, the project includes classroom additions, wiring upgrades and enhanced security measures for the main entrance.

A dedicated science classroom is also part of the plan, and the new addition with the aging modular classroom structures currently in use at the school.

While Shriver said the work is a little behind schedule, bids are still expected to go out next week for the removal of those structures.

“I really think it’s doable, based on where they are,” the architect said.

Fiscally speaking, the project was behind before it even got started. The state School Building Authority in December 2016 awarded $2 million for the work — but Mon’s BOE had requested $3.2 million.

Superintendent Frank Devono was philosophical then, saying that he appreciated the support of the authority, which had funded the construction of the Eastwood Elementary “green” school and new Suncrest Elementary in recent years.

Shriver also said boiler replacement work at the Monongalia Technical Education Center and Morgantown High School is also proceeding on schedule.

In the meantime, another Morgantown school may figure into the city’s July 4 celebration.

Main Street Morgantown has requested to use the parking lot of Mountaineer Middle School, located high atop Price Street, to launch fireworks during the celebration.

Morgantown Fire Chief Mark Caravasos told BOE members that, as a safety measure, the lot would be cordoned off with full security in place to keep people away from the actual launch.

The board is currently considering that request.

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