The Upshur County Board of Education is facing a dilemma - what to do with Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School.
Originally constructed in 1925, the facility has undergone various repairs and additions. Now the structure has come to the end of the line in its current form.
Despite some public sentiment, the situation is serious. The front entrance is not handicapped accessible. The school also has other narrow inside doorways and steep stairs.
The board has just two choices. The school must be either replaced or renovated to comply with state fire code and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The cost for a new school is approximately $30 million. Renovations are estimated to be at least $13 million.
Last year, the county was granted $13.9 million by the state School Building Authority. However, for the board to actually receive that money, voters would have to agree to a bond. That didn't happen.
With a major decision on the horizon, the board is again turning to the public. This time, it's asking for input. Questionnaires to county residents will soon hit the mail. Responding or offering additional advice is important in helping the board members shape the future of the county's educational system.
We encourage residents to let the board know what they will and will not support. It's only by opening these lines of communication that a resolution for the fate of the school can be reached.