Officials met at the entrance of the new Huff Consolidated recently as time for the school to open quickly approaches.
Wyoming County Superintendent of Schools Frank “Bucky” Blackwell told the board at its meeting on Monday evening that he met with Jason Pizatella , Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s deputy chief of staff, and Paul Mattox, secretary of the West Virginia Department of Transportation.
Blackwell told the Independent Herald that he received a call from the Governor’s Office asking if he could meet with Mattox and Pizatella at the school site.
The men flew in on a helicopter, which landed at the Little League field in Hanover.
“I was glad to hear they were coming down,” Blackwell said.
They met intersection near the school and inspected the work that has been done by the Division of Highways and by the Norfolk Southern Railroad.
“It was a good visit,” Blackwell said.
“They’ve done such a nice job there,” the superintendent commented. “The work looks real good.”
“The entrance coming from Hanover had a little dog leg in it,” he commented. “To me, I thought they would straighten it out and eliminate any bend in the road whatsoever.”
He said Mattox asked that that section of the road be re-engineered to make it straight.
“It will be a straight entrance up that ramp,” Blackwell commented.
School buses were at the site last Monday “to try everything out,” he remarked. “Everything went good. There were no problems with the entrance or the exit.
“You can have people entering and leaving at the same time,”Blackwell added.
Both sides of the road have been widened.
With the widening of the highway, exiting buses or cars can more easily make a turn to the left on Route 52. “It’s no problem now for a 90-passenger bus to make a 90 degree turn,” Blackwell stated.
He said there is improved “visibility and capability” for large buses to turn.
Blackwell thanked “our leaders in Charleston and the state officials who have been involved and the railroad who helped to make that intersection as it should be.”
Trains normally run once a day, and Blackwell said the railroad has indicated that it would try not to run trains at times when buses are arriving or leaving.
Mattox and Pizatello also toured the school during their visit and “liked what they saw,” Blackwell said.
John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6o60 or on Twitter @PIHnews.