May 30, 2024
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By WARREN SCOTT

On Thursday, Brooke County students will return to school in buildings that have been repaired or improved over the summer.

On Thursday, Brooke County students will return to school in buildings that have been renovated or improved over the summer.

A series of goals outlined by Superintendent Jeffrey Crook for the upcoming year were approved by the county’s school board on Monday.

Allied Plate Glass of Wheeling will replace a pair of steel doors for Brooke High School’s back gym at a cost of $14,221; and Karras Painting will paint Brooke High School’s auxiliary gym for $38,685.

In recent months, the board has undertaken many locally funded projects.

Mitchell said that every school had something to do.

A $660,000 synthetic turf replacement at Brooke Memorial Stadium completed earlier this summer has been the largest project, followed by a $300,000 roof at Brooke Primary South (formerly Wellsburg Primary School) by Black Stone Roofing of Inwood, W.Va.

Buildings, grounds, and maintenance director Steve Mitchell said the roof work was supposed to begin in June, but the contractor was unavailable.

While the school is in use, crews will not use a crane to lift materials over the building for the safety of students and staff.

According to Mitchell, the project won’t affect the roof above the gym, which is still under warranty.

Asbestos was discovered outside Brooke Intermediate North (formerly Franklin Primary School), causing the work to be delayed initially.

At Hooverson Heights, crews will soon stripe the recently paved parking lot of Brooke Primary North.

As part of the $35,691 project, the lot was expanded to a grassy area and drainage was added to prevent large pools of water from forming.

As part of the high school’s ongoing renovations, two heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units have been installed in the gym, costing $51,028; pipes and shut-off valves have been replaced at $13,650, and ceramic tiles in the kitchen have been repaired or replaced.

Despite being used by heavy equipment in the kitchen over the years, the 4 inch by 4 inch tiles date to 1969 when the school opened.

The high school, Brooke Primary South, the Bruin Bridge alternative school, and Brooke Intermediate North (formerly Jefferson Primary School) all received new sprinkler systems for $12,750.

Board member Dr. Rob Marks said he has received compliments on the improvements made at the schools, particularly the recent landscaping.

The mulched areas along the school’s front walk were created by volunteers and materials provided by Williams Energy, the district’s new business partner.

Crook’s school board set a goal of collaborating with others to plan upgrades and improvements for existing facilities.

The high school conducted at least ten walk-throughs and post-walk-through conferences each month; monitored students’ progress in advanced placement courses and dual enrollment programs with West Virginia Northern Community College; and improved attendance, state test scores, and college entrance examination scores.

In addition, Crook asked the board to consider establishing a marketing plan that would provide funds for the production of commercials promoting the district by a local television station.

After a 30-day trial period, the board could opt out of the plan.

After board members suggested Crook explore various options, Board Member Stacy Hooper asked how such a campaign could be measured.

Since recent state legislation made it easier for students to attend schools outside their own districts, Crook believes the television station could reach potential new students.

It’s not the first time the board has sought to raise awareness.

Brooke County Schools hired Mobility 360 of Weirton a few years ago to develop a brand image, app, website and commercials that aired during Friday night football broadcasts.

On YouTube and social media, videos produced by students in the school’s video production class promote the school’s sports and career technical programs.

Crook said Brooke County Schools have a lot to offer – Brooke Collegiate Academy, which allows students to earn 15 credit hours from Bethany College; honors courses, and career courses.

Brooke County residents are unaware of the school district’s programs and courses, he said.

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