Another East Dale Elementary cost overrun is on next Marion County School Board agenda

Sep. 5—FAIRMONT — At its biweekly meeting on Tuesday, the Marion County Board of Education will finalize several budget allocations for the remainder of the school year — including field trips and sports games that will take local students around the Mountain State and beyond.

During the meeting, the Board will review plans to send approximately 50 eighth graders from West Fairmont Middle School to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 6.

The field trip would cost $1,600, requiring the usage of a county bus out of state, and the oversight of several English language arts teachers from the school.

The Board will also review plans to allow the East Fairmont High boys basketball team to participate in out-of-county basketball games at West Virginia State University, Parkersburg South High and Nitro High this winter.

The four away games pending Board approval will cost a total of $1,200 of the team's funding, according to the meeting agenda.

At the upcoming meeting, the Board will again discuss ongoing expansions at East Dale Elementary School, which began in 2021 and were initially slated for a November 2022 completion.

During an Aug. 10 meeting, the Board unanimously voted for School Superintendent Donna Heston to renegotiate additional project costs with Omni Associates-Architects, who is overseeing the process.

Heston had requested just over $68,000 in county funding for a final payment on the project. At the upcoming meeting, that same number is on the table, in addition to over $200,000 in a final pay request for work the architectural firm completed from April to June.

On Aug. 21, Fairmont Police Chief Steve Shine expressed frustration surrounding the Board hiring school resource officers from the Marion County Sheriff's Office instead of the Fairmont Police Department.

During that meeting, the Board tabled school resource officer funding to further discuss its plans at a later date. Now, the topic returns to the Board agenda for Tuesday evening.

During the meeting, Board members will review plans for the Sheriff's Office to provide school resource officers to local high schools in the school year ahead. But the agenda does not include plans regarding the Fairmont Police Department.

Also at the meeting, the Board will consider funding for sign language interpretation services, dental services, professional development resources, and nutrition education for Marion County Schools students and staff this year.

The upcoming meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 5:30 p.m. It will be held at the Board of Education office in Fairmont, located at 1516 Mary Lou Retton Dr., and will also be live streamed at

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