The Barbour County superintendent of schools this week discussed a recent bomb threat at Philip Barbour High School that fortunately proved to be a hoax.
A written note warning of a bomb on school property was discovered Thursday, said Superintendent Dr. F. Joseph Super during Monday's meeting of the Barbour County Board of Education. The note caused PBHS students to be evacuated to an alternate location.
After searching the schools, emergency responders discovered that no bombs were on school property and the building was cleared, Super said.
Glenn Sweet, facilities director, told the school board he was on scene along with law enforcement officers. Two police dogs were brought in to aid in the search for explosive devices. Super said the bomb dogs were brought in from Morgantown, which took about an hour.
"That's an hour of those students being out there, that we don't know if there's a bomb in that building or not," Super said. "So I will err on the side of caution about that every time and get as many people out of harm's way as we possibly can."
In other matters, the school board voted to begin an investigation regarding a student issue, but members did not disclose the issue or the student's name. The matter was discussed in executive session for about an hour.
Board members also discussed playground work. Sweet said "principals are being creative" regarding requirements for bringing two school playgrounds up to code. Kasson Elementary/Middle and Philippi Elementary schools need No. 8 pea gravel, he said.
There are ways to reduce the cost, such as picking up the materials instead of having them delivered. Sweet said a parent did some research and discovered a lower cost for the pea gravel. The cost per ton of would be about $36.11.
Board member Doward Matlick said he would allow the use of his vehicle for transporting the gravel.
The board approved the employment of Donald Ware as bus operator and mechanic's assistant at the bus garage, and Conrad Hicks and Kenneth Isner as custodians for PBHS.
Teresa Riccio will be an instructor for Belington Elementary School, pending final verification of a student count. Sherman Wilkinson was employed as substitute bus operator for the current school year. Jennifer Phipps was employed as a special education aide, pre-kindergarten special needs aid and transportation aide at Philippi Elementary School for the school year.
Vratpal Gogikar will be an instructor for the profoundly impaired with autism beginning in the 2013-14 school year. Elizabeth Cox was employed as a licensed practical nurse, special education aide and transportation aide at PBHS.