SAVING NORMANTOWN SCHOOL - A Community Works Together


After months of official in-action, a late summer effort to close Normantown Elementary School and transport students to Glenville because of a mold problem, ended with parents and community members organizing and working to save the community school.

Parents and community members assembled for a work weekend to help prepare for a mobile classroom that has now been placed at the school.

Volunteers helped prepare two ditches, one for the water and another for the sewer.

Misty Pritt, a community volunteer and Challenge WV fellow said "We were fortunate to get a ditch witch donated, along with the fuel needed to operate it from Mr. Billie Houchin of Arnoldsburg."

The pipe needed to hook-up the mobile classrooms was donated by Flying W Plastics of Glenville.

All the fittings and electrical wire needed was donated generously by Appcon, and Hardman's, both located in Glenville.

Grass seed and straw for mulching was donated by Mr. Frank Minney and Sears Exxon in Stumptown provided bottled water for the volunteers throughout the weekend.

The volunteer work crew consisted of Dennis and Amie Carder, Richard and Misty Pritt, Brian and Lisa Moore, Lisa Tanner, Justin Carter, Mike Wellings, and Patty Singleton.

"We were able to get both ditches dug, the pipe laid, the ditches covered, and the ground seeded and mulched within the two day period," said Pritt.

The group also built forms for concrete to be poured to correct some fire marshal violations. Mrs. Phyllis Starkey, a school board member, and her husband Leon, were present during the work weekend to show their support for the community effort.

"We know that our maintenance director stays covered-up because he is solely responsible for four elementary schools in the county and also the high school. Although he does not complain, we felt the undertaking at Normantown was too much for one person, and the community and parents wanted to lend him and our county a helping hand," said Pritt.

"There are so many people in our community who have gone out of their way to help," she said.

"We were amazed at the outpouring of support we found in our county and also in surrounding counties"

Pritt says there is a renewed sense of pride within the community.

"The obstacles we have faced this summer in Normantown have made us aware of the importance the community's role plays in saving our small schools," Pritt concluded.

"A small school cannot survive without community support, and vice-versa. A community loses its school, and it dies along with that school. We realize we need one another, and we are ready to pull together with one voice and save our school at Normantown," said Pritt.