Local resident raises concerns about damage at West Valley Central School
The discussion referred to a leak in a WVCS classroom. At the board’s last meeting, Superintendent Eric Lawton had recommended the school “hold off” on fixing it, because that would involve repairing the entire roof, at a cost of more than $10,000, when he said the school needed to focus on another maintenance issue that Lawton determined to be more “critical.”
Munson told the board members and audience, “It’s not really something the board should put off, because [the leak] leads to mold.”
The Ashford resident said that, per United States Environmental Protection Agency recommendations, “You need to address it, right away. A $10,000 water problem can quickly become a $100,000 mold problem.”
Munson also expressed his concerns about how students could be affected by this potential problem. “It is not just the black mold. There [are] a couple toxic kinds of mold. It doesn’t matter [what] kind of mold that develops in the school, because some kids are sensitive to any mold spores and they can get sick. It is something you need to address, sooner than later.”
At the last meeting, Lawton had mentioned that there was a relationship between the hot weather and the leak, and Munson said, “Mold is more likely to form if you combine heat with moisture. I would ask that the board take a second look.”
He said that, should the school not have the necessary funds to fix the leak, the classroom should, at least, be closed off to students.
During his remarks, Munson also told the board he believed “we could have saved some money if we got [new Business Official Ann O’Brien] to start a little earlier.” He was referring to the board’s paying O’ Brien a per diem rate of $420 per day, before her official start date on Aug. 20.
Munson also expressed that he would like to see the board and superintendent “work on a five-year plan.” With the property tax cap set at 2 percent, Munson said this plan is “even more necessary than ever. We [have] got to have some direction as to how we are going to deal with the financial situation.”
In his superintendent’s report, Lawton said that three “half-time” social studies candidates will be teaching groups of WVCS students on Aug. 7. Lawton said he would interview the candidates and present one final individual to the board at the next meeting.
Lawton said he will be taking a tour of the Randolph Academy on Aug. 15 and the Allegany-Limestone Central School District on Aug. 16. He said that tours are being set up for superintendents in the area, so they can see each others’ programs and “help each other out.”
The Jamestown Post Journal published an article about local schools’ scores on state tests. The article noted that West Valley had a high number of students’ beating the “state average and standards” on five out of six ELA tests and four out of six math tests. Lawton said that the accomplishments by West Valley’s students were “pretty impressive.”
In other matters:
– The board accepted the resignation of Kathleen Rathburn as a substitute teacher aide.
– O’ Brien was authorized as the official signature for checks.
– Steve Kenworthy was approved to be the girls varsity soccer head coach for the 2012 – 2013 sports season.
– A motion passed that approved the school library to be open on Wednesday evenings for the summer, instead of on Tuesdays.
The next board meeting will be held Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. in the library conference room.