School officials okay new buses, discuss rising water rate
At their May 5 meeting, the Morgan County School Board unanimously approved the purchase of four new school buses for the 2008-2009 school year, at the cost of $320,115. Three of the new vehicles are 77-passenger conventional buses and one is a 65-passenger bus equipped for special education students.
Transportation Director John Gue recommended the bus purchase from the BWAB International Co. of Charleston. It brings the school's fleet up to 40 buses.
Gue said the school system will get rid of two aging buses at the beginning of the next school year.
Berkeley Springs High School athletic director Chad Brinegar gave a report to the school board about the school's successful winter sports schedule. He noted the wrestling and girls' basketball teams advanced to the state level and many student athletes had been honored for their performance and sportsmanship.
Director of Testing Terry Riley reported that three Morgan County students had won first place prizes at the State Social Studies Fair, and several others had gotten second place or Honorable Mention awards.
In other business, school officials discussed the impact of a Town of Bath rate increase for public water service. Based on proposed rates, Morgan County Schools would face an additional $4,000 in water costs per quarter.
Board member David Ambrose asked if the new rates would be equivalent to those around the state.
Board member Larry Omps said school officials should remind the Town of Bath how much money the schools invested in new water lines around Warm Springs Middle and Intermediate Schools several years ago.
Omps said those new lines and a new water tank had allowed the town to add water customers in nearby residential areas.
Superintendent David Banks said someone representing the schools would attend the town's public hearing on May 6 about the rate increase.
The school board approved the rehiring and reassignment of a long list of personnel for the next school year, including more than 100 substitute teachers.
Larry Omps asked if school officials had heard of any teachers who were planning to leave the school system at the end of the year.
Superintendent Banks said he didn't know of any teachers who had announced their departure, except those who are retiring this year.
Board members briefly discussed the upcoming graduations at Paw Paw and Berkeley Springs High Schools, which both take place on May 23 at 7 p.m.