We are writing to express the utmost urgency and importance of constructing the new Summersville Middle School. As educators in the pods and members of the community, we have witnessed the devastating effects of the 2016 Flood that destroyed the original building. It is crucial that we address this pressing issue and provide a suitable learning environment for our students.
The temporary pods that have been serving as classrooms for the past six years are falling apart. These temporary structures were never meant to be a long-term solution, and it is evident that they are no longer safe or conducive to a quality education. Students and teachers alike are facing numerous challenges due to the inadequate conditions of these temporary classrooms.
Challenges our students, faculty, and staff have faced since the loss of our school in 2016 include:
- Classrooms separated by curtains with 2 tables per classrooms (while in the armory);
- Used furniture that was graciously donated from other districts;
- Roof and window leaks in the cafeteria and classrooms;
- Safety issues due to students carrying bags and backpacks as well as no secondary emergency exits;
- Lack of athletic and group activity space for locker rooms and pep assemblies;
- Soft spots and unlevel floors due to the pods sinking into the ground (which has caused cafeteria equipment, students, and staff to fall through the floor);
- Standing water around the building due to poor drainage;
- Noise in the hallways and classrooms which cause disruptions;
- Sewage issues at both Summersville Middle Pods and Nicholas County High.
This list is not conclusive and could be added to further.
Moreover, it is disheartening to see that construction has not yet commenced on the new school building. Our students deserve better, and we cannot afford to further delay the process. It is high time that we prioritize their education and well-being by ensuring the timely construction of a new, state-of-the-art school facility.
While it is understandable that some members of the community may have concerns or objections, it is essential to consider the long-term benefits that a new school will bring. The new Summersville Middle School will not only provide a safe and modern learning environment, but it will also contribute to the overall development and growth of our community.
Education is the foundation of progress, and investing in our students’ future should be a top priority for all of us. By constructing the new Summersville Middle School, we are investing in the future generations, providing them with the tools and resources they need to succeed in an ever-changing world.
Further, we appreciate the Nicholas County Board of Education’s dedication to the construction of our new schools. Thank you to Superintendent Terrence Beam and Assistant Superintendent Kelli Whytsell for coming on board this summer with putting us in a permanent building at the top of their agenda. Their diligence encourages us to have a voice in the matter.
In conclusion, we implore the community and the relevant authorities to prioritize the construction of the new Summersville Middle School. The 2016 Flood and the subsequent years spent in temporary pods have been challenging for our students and teachers. It is time to act swiftly and decisively to create a better learning environment for our children. Let us come together, put aside any unnecessary delays, and ensure that our students have the educational facilities they deserve.
The Staff and Faculty of Summersville Middle School
The above letter was voted upon by the faculty senate for publish and to our elected officials on Thursday, September 21.
-Devin C Spinks, MA
SMS Social Studies Teacher
Faculty Senate Secretary