Update on Greenbrier School at Bolling

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By Peggy Mackenzie

The official photo of Lewisburg’s new lineup of council members: Ed Johns (left), Sarah Elkins, Heather Blake — Mayor Beverly White, center – City Clerk Shannon Beatty, Aaron

Lance Syner gave the city council an update on the Greenbrier Community School, formerly the Greenbrier Episcopal School, following their purchase of the Bolling School last year.

Syner, who is in charge of the Community construction committee, displayed a rendering of the proposed school upgrade, stating that six classrooms will be completed by June 2020 and ready for occupancy for the following fall classes, with the remaining six and the gymnasium to be a phase two project.

The purpose of the project is to create a school and a community center, Syner said. The design and engineering for the project will be done by The Mills Group, but will not be a historic preservation project. Instead, the board is aiming to preserve major portions of the structure as possible. The school board has contracted with Janice Cooley to safeguard the school’s history, including artifacts. Syner said a main stairwell will become “the history walkway.”

A new roof on the main structure and updated guttering system are currently under construction. A second story will be added to the Maple Street side of the building where a new main entrance will be located. The entrance was on the Oak Street side, but Syner said, the Maple Street side provides better vehicular parking space allowing parents to safely drop off and pick up their children.

The school will be renamed the Greenbrier School at Bolling and will also include renaming the gym as the Bimbo Coles Gymnasium. He said the structure is really in pretty good shape for its age. The budget for the total project is $2.6 million, with $1.2 million committed so far, which should cover the first phase. The June 2020 deadline is pretty tight, Syner said, “and we’re going to need more from the community to get it done.” Eventually, the school will serve around 80 first to fifth grade aged students.

In other business:

  • Lewisburg Mayor Beverly White announced the City of Lewisburg was the recipient of the Community Enrichment Award during the annual West Virginia Municipal League Conference in Huntington. Congratulations were also in order for City Clerk Shannon Beatty who was honored as Clerk of the Year.
  • Council approved the second reading of Ordinance 284 to be in compliance with state code changes.

Reports from the boards and commissions included:

– Parks Commission – Pickleball courts under consideration; late night speeding ongoing at Dorie Miller Park seeking solutions.

– Finance Committee – A $7,000 funding request from Carnegie Hall was approved for marketing materials for their TOOT fundraiser and for outdoor lighting at Carnegie Hall. It was noted that although TOOT is Carnegie’s main annual fundraiser, only 25 percent of the profits go the the hall. The remaining 75 percent go to all the vendors.

  • A contract approval for the purchase of tasers for the police department included a condition that a legal opinion was needed to consider what a taser would do to a person. “Officers need to be protected legally,” said Council member Ed Johns. City Attoney Tom White will be conferred with on the matter.
  • Bunker gear, a lighter weight covering for the fire fighters when going out on a calll, were approved for purchase.
  • A 70 cent per hour increase for all city employees across the board was approved as a cost of living raise.
  • Public Works – The consideration to construct speed humps in the Echols/Foster street area did not have enough information gathered. It was determined an extended study during the school season will yield more information.