By Adam Pack
The Greenbrier County Board of Education met for their regularly scheduled meeting on Dec. 13 at 6 p.m. at the Kyle & Ann Fort Arts and Science Center. Present at the meeting were 2022 Greenbrier County Service Personnel of the Year, Jerry Baker and Tracy Walkup, custodians at Smoot and Rainelle Elementary. The two were honored as Service Personnel of the year earlier in 2022, but at the board meeting they were formally recognized and given their unique trophies, a framed picture of each of the two with the students they serve.
Darlene Sparks of the Greenbrier County Schools Human Resources Department presented the awards “All you have to do is look at the photos [the awards] of these two with students and it melts your heart; thank you for the wonderful job you do for Greenbrier County Schools, and it’s obvious our students and staff love you, and we’re very fortunate to have you,” she said.
The board then moved to finalize the transfer of the old Rupert Elementary School Property to the Meadow River Valley Association. Greenbrier County Schools CFO David McClure spoke, explaining that “we’ve been going through this process for two or three years now, and we’re so very pleased tonight to finish this process with the final transfer of the old Rupert Elementary School to the Meadow River Valley Association. Through the years the board has had such a tremendous partnership with the MRVA, and we really believe in the work they’re doing in the community of Rupert and the Meadow River Valley.”
With that, Vice President of the Meadow River Valley Association, Dave Lungsten, addressed the board on behalf of the Association. “I just want to say thank you, especially on behalf of Matt Ford, President of the MRVA, and I say thank you for all the support you’ve given for the last three going on four years… It’s just been a fantastic relationship.”
Lungsten detailed the work that is going on around the old elementary school and the plans that The MRVA has for the campus. “We’ve established an early childhood learning center out there, the fire department now has some of that acreage for their use, and the only emergency heli-vac pad in the Meadow River Valley is now there. […] Coach Tincher, he’s taken the gym and now has the West-End Youth Sports League. This last piece, that three story building that dates back to the 1940’s [the Old Rupert Elementary School], we’re going to renovate that building and the Byrd Clinic will lease the first floor, and the top two floors will be low income senior housing.”
In summary, Vice President Lungsten stated that the association “is very pleased” with the progress made so far. “We cannot highlight enough the support that the board and the staff have given us over these last several years. With that, before signing it away to us, I would like to announce to the board that this building, as of August 2022, is on the National Registry of Historic Places.” The document was produced for both Board President Jeannie Wyatt and MRVA President Matt Ford to sign, deeding the Old Rupert Elementary School officially to the MRVA.
The Greenbrier County Board of Education meets again on Jan. 10 at 6 p.m. in the Kyle & Ann Fort Arts and Science Center. The public is encouraged to attend. Please call 304-647-6470 to confirm meeting time and date prior, as they are subject to change.