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PARKERSBURG, Va. — The Wood County Board of Education overwhelmingly authorized a contractor for a nearly $500,000 roofing project at Van Devender Middle School on Tuesday.

The project, which was part of the school district’s 2016 bond issue, was initially estimated to cost over $1 million, but officials are hopeful that a different strategy would save money while also allowing for required repairs.

“We are repairing only the damaged insulation and the rubber roofing,” Mike Fling, assistant superintendent of facilities and school services, said during the board’s midday special meeting. “The objective was to be as cost-effective as feasible.”

From two bidders, Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal in Wheeling was chosen as the contractor.

The initial design included for replacing the whole roof as well as the insulation. Fling said the cost might go over the $477,800 amount mentioned at Tuesday’s meeting, depending on how much insulation has to be replaced, but it’s still expected to be cheaper than the original estimate. The 10-year plan established last year calls for the closing of Van Devender, but Fling highlighted that the facility may still be utilised by the district. It has been considered to use the new construction and the current facility as a pre-K through fifth-grade early learning center. The building would also need to be in decent shape if it was finally sold, according to Fling.

The majority of the less-than-20-minute meeting was held in private executive session, with board members addressing staff problems. They also got information on a lawsuit filed by parents challenging the district’s COVID-19 masking policy, as well as legal issues with the disposition of the old Waverly Elementary School site.

According to Board President Justin Raber, no action was taken in response to the complaint. However, the board did take a number of steps regarding workers.

Dan Fosselman’s resignation was granted 5-0. The board also authorized the paid suspensions of Ryan Sleight and Joseph Holland, whose title could not be found on the Wood County Schools website.

Sleight and Holland are the focus of continuing investigations, and the board agreed 5-0 to extend their paid bans for no more than 30 days.

There was no information provided on the investigations.

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