Harman to get funds from state

HARMAN – More good news in the quest for emergency funds to repair damage at a local elementary school is expected to be released today. Del. Denise Campbell, D-Randolph, said she believes at least $65,000 in funding will be announced today from the West Virginia Legislature and the Governor’s Office.

“So many people have worked very hard to get this funding,” Campbell said. “A big thanks goes out to Del. Bill Hartman, Sen. Greg Tucker and Sen. Clark Barnes for helping secure this money. These folks worked diligently to get this together.”

Harman School was deemed unsafe after an entire plaster ceiling fell in one of the school’s classrooms during the July 4 weekend, bringing down 2 tons of material.

No one was present at the time in the school, which was built in the 1950s.

MSES Consultants estimate emergency repairs to make the school safe for students will be approximately $175,000.

The Randolph County Board of Education had a special meeting last week, passing a recommendation allowing Superintendent of Schools Terry George to develop a plan to temporarily relocate Harman School students to other Elkins-area schools while emergency repairs are being made. The recommendation also authorized George to seek funding from any available source to defer the cost of the emergency repairs and allows him to seek other repairs calculated to prevent further damage to the facility and make the building safe and habitable.

During the meeting, seven Harman community members and leaders addressed board members, pleading that Harman School not be closed permanently and asking for board members to find alternative placement for the approximately 170 students closer to home. Anonymous donations totaling $55,000 were presented to the BOE during Tuesday’s meeting, along with a pledge of support by the Randolph County Commission President Chris See.

Campbell said she contacted George about the additional funding Friday, and she believes today’s announcement will come from the Governor’s Office.