The Wyoming County Board of Education has approved the addition of another classroom to the new Huff Consolidated School.
The meeting was held last Tuesday at Mullens Elementary School.
“A lot of good things are going on (at the site of the new school),” said Superintendent of Schools Frank “Bucky” Blackwell. “The school is in good shape except we could use another classroom.
Assistant Superintendent Deirdre Cline noted that the population of the Hanover area “has been steady.”
“With the numbers we have today, we’re going to need another second grade (classroom),” Cline stated. “You can’t go over 25 in a classroom.”
Huff Principal Carolyn Hatfield presented handouts with the current enrollment and estimated enrollment for 2014-15. The projections show 33 second graders next term as well as 27 in the first grade and 20-plus in kindergarten.
“We have too many for one classroom, but not quite enough for two full classes (in second grade),” Hatfield noted.
“If we’re going to do it, we’ve got to do it now,” Blackwell said.
Doing the construction now would cost “a lot less money” than doing it in the future, he indicated.
Two of the four walls needed for the room already exist.
Board Member Mike Davis asked if any funding would be available from the School Building Authority (SBA).
“We’re working on that,” Blackwell responded. The board approved a motion to add the classroom.
Blackwell said in a phone interview last Friday that the classroom would cost an estimated $150,000 to $200,000.
“We think we can do it for a reasonable price because two walls are up,” he said.
“It was planned in the drawing as a potential classroom,” Blackwell observed. He said he hopes the funding will be similar to that done for the rest of the building—75 percent coming from the SBA and FEMA, and 25 percent from the Board of Education.
“Every discipline has to get mobilized (to do the work),” he said. “Some of them are there, but the foundation people have probably left the site. So some people will have to be remobilized to do their part.”
In other news, Board Member Michael Prichard asked if the Head Start would be moving to the new location. Blackwell said that MountainHeart had not indicated that it wanted to move Head Start to the new site.
“We would accommodate them if they wanted to move,” Blackwell said.
Utilities will remain in use at the current Head Start location, he reported.
Also: The board approved the 2014-15 school calendar. About 490 people voted.
Mullens Elementary Principal Carolyn Wilcox made a presentation to the board.
Two former Teachers of the Year, Sandra Rose and Susan Bowling, are retiring this year and the BOE thanked them for their service.
Mrs. Wilcox noted that space is an issue at MES, and Prichard said the school is on the board’s radar as the next to be replaced.