LOGAN - It's official: The new Chapmanville Intermediate School building will not be ready on time for the start of the new school year.
The Logan County Board of Education announced two public meetings Thursday night to update the citizens of Chapmanville on the building's progress and the contingency plan for students.
The first will take place at 6 p.m. July 31 and the second at 10 a.m. Aug. 1, and both will be held in the Chapmanville Regional High School theater.
"We chose these times to accommodate parents who work at night and who work during the day," said assistant superintendent Darlene Dingess-Adkins.
Board President Paul Hardesty has expressed concern for months over the lack of properly completed construction and said they have had the contingency plan in the works for some time. He said the current punch list that remains "could take as long as six months."
Hardesty said entire sections of wall need to be redone, sections of tile need to be torn out and replaced, as well as other issues in the building to ensure a quality project is completed.
The board voted in September to send a letter to the West Virginia School Building Authority requesting a new contractor for the current elementary school building project in Chapmanville.
Hardesty said at that time that the board had not been pleased with the work from the former managers of the project, PCS. Hardesty has previously said the PCS contract was "forced" onto Logan County and has not been executed properly. He said in the past the county has hired a clerk of the works firm for school building projects, with an estimated cost for this project between $75,000 and $100,000. The district was paying $954,000 for services from PCS.
The BOE sent a request in June 2017 for a contract revision to include a reduction in fees with no effect on labor.
Hardesty said the BOE never approved a contract with PCS. He said it was never approved by the BOE in 2016.
The new building will be approximately 42,000 square feet and will house roughly 400 students in second, third and fourth grades. In all, the project will cost $12.5 million; $6 million will be paid by the county, while the remainder will be paid for through a School Building Authority grant.
Hardesty said he and the board learned in October 2017 that the previous contractor had not had a license to practice in the state of West Virginia since April 2017. He said new management had come in, no days of construction were expected to be lost and the 7,000 square feet of space will be restored as much as possible to bring classroom sizes up to code.
The board held two meetings in November 2017 to vote on the closure of East and West Chapmanville elementary schools, as well as plans to consolidate students into the new school being built.
In other business, the Logan County BOE approved the selection of principals for the new Chapmanville Elementary School in January.
Jill Barker, the current principal of West Chapmanville Elementary School, will be the pre-K to first-grade principal in the new school. Andrew Dotson, the current principal of East Chapmanville, will be the second- to fourth-grade principal at the new school.
During its meeting March 8, the Logan County BOE voted on a list of employees for the new Chapmanville Primary (pre-K to first grade) and Intermediate (second to fourth grade) schools. That list can be viewed online at loganbanner.com.
The closure of East and West Chapmanville elementary schools officially went into effect July 1.
Nancy Peyton is a news reporter for HD Media. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @NPeytonLB.