CLINTWOOD — As work nears completion on a new roof for Clintwood Elementary School, Dickenson County School Board has agreed to make another request to county supervisors for the money needed to replace the sewer system at Ervinton Elementary School.
This time, following an email exchange with the county administrator, the board will make a singular request specifically identifying just the school sewer project. The work has been estimated at about $250,000 and was included in school capital requests to supervisors in March but did not get funded.
The school board took action at its Aug. 28 meeting after county supervisors had talked about the project during a workshop earlier in August where they reviewed requests still not budgeted. At the time, County Administrator David Moore said he had the Ervinton Elementary sewer project on his list but didn’t know why the school division had not approached them yet about it.
Kenady District Supervisor Shelbie Willis said she didn’t believe the school board intended to keep Ervinton Elementary open and considered repairing the system “money down the sewer.”
Clintwood District Supervisor David Perry called the project a “glaring need” if the system is in disrepair to the point it is unsafe for the students to be there.
Some supervisors were under the impression that sewer project funding had never been requested, Superintendent Haydee Robinson told the school board last week, referencing two separate letters to the county in March that listed the work in their capital request.
Ervinton District Supervisor Shanghai Nickles observed that he has inquired after the project at about every meeting.
Robinson said she had written supervisors and the county administrator seeking clarification on the process and confirming that the division HAS asked for funding.
“Hopefully, this has been cleared up,” she said.
There’s been a lot of discussion about how much over the minimum Dickenson County funds the school system, Robinson said. The financial support from county is an investment in education, in Dickenson County children, she said, and is both recognized and appreciated.
Their funding support, she said in a letter to supervisors, has allowed raises for employees, reintroduction of art and music in elementary schools, no-cost lunch to all students, a 95.17 percent graduation rate, a 3.42 percent drop-out rate and a reduction of chronic absenteeism by 7.76 percent.
She cites Standards of Learning test score achievements, noting the division has moved from a ranking of 81st in the state in 2005 to 21st in 2018 among 133 counties.
The school board also heard the new roof at Clintwood Elementary School is almost complete. A final roof inspection is set for Sept. 17.