By David Esteppe
Greenbrier County Schools Superintendent Sallie Dalton has announced that the School Building Authority (SBA) in West Virginia has awarded Crichton Elementary $900,000 towards a $1.2 million project for the school’s upgrades. The project will include safety enhancement, HVAC and electrical system improvements and new windows for the school. The remaining money will come from the local board of education (BOE).
Dalton explained that each year the Local School Improvement Council presents school needs to the BOE, and last year they requested new windows for Crichton Elementary. That project seemed to fit the parameters required for assistance from SBA. Subsequently, SBA representative Ben Ashley met with Dalton at Crichton Elementary. Ashley immediately pointed out the safety and security shortcomings at the school’s entrance. Basically, the front entrance was locked, but once access was buzzed in, people had access to the rest of the school. Additionally, Ashley noted that the principal’s office had no view of the entrance or parking lot. Ashley quickly did a preliminary sketch of a safer entrance that could be built, allowing for more visibility and a second set of locked doors for people to go through once security is established after the first buzz in.
Another need for Crichton Elementary noticed by Ashley and Dalton was an HVAC and electrical systems upgrade.
With the addition of the entrance and HVAC issues, the project became eligible for the Major Improvement Program (MIP) within the SBA.
“Overall, Greenbrier County schools are in good condition,” said Dalton. She gives credit for this to the custodian and maintenance staff, and their work ethic about maintaining area schools.
Dalton expanded on the condition of Greenbrier County schools by mentioning Frankford Elementary as being on the list for MIP money. As part of the Comprehensive Education Facilities Plan, about $7 million is needed for Frankford Elementary. A presentation to SBA will be due by Oct. 1, 2015.