A future for the former Marion Intermediate School could include demolishing part or all of the structure, keeping the gym and a section for storage, or building an entirely new facility.
Discussion on the fate of this building, abandoned years ago when elementary students served by the school were divided between Marion Elementary and Oak Point Elementary, has taken place for several years with some cost estimates determined prior to the pandemic and plans for asbestos abatement.
At the May 8 meeting of Smyth County School Board, Superintendent Dennis Carter provided information to board members about options that could be considered and potential cost estimates.
The board members discussed seeking bids on the various options before considering further action. The project to remove either part or all of the building, renovate or rebuild would likely take several years.
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In late 2011, school officials closed the school’s gym when it was found to be structurally unstable. Marion Intermediate had already been in spotlight for several years after a building assessment found it to be in need of extensive work or replacement.
In other business, school employees were recognized with monthly awards for cafeteria workers, bus drivers, and custodians.
The awards for May with partial nomination comments are for:
Silver Apron Award to Carolyn Burkett, food service assistant at Northwood Middle School.
“Carolyn always greets you with a smile. She always takes the time to ask how you are and how you are doing. She gives our students a reason to smile, share, and be happy. In addition, she always goes out of her way to make sure the kids are taken care of in the cafeteria.”
Extra Mile Award to John Odham, bus driver for Marion Senior High School.
“John is constantly covering our trade school runs for other drivers and takes an activity trip to Sugar Grove after football practice after his regular runs. He is the first Marion driver on the road each morning and the last getting in on days when he takes our football players to Sugar Grove. He does all he can to help when we ask and is very consistent and dependable.”
My School Shines Award to Skyla Wilson and Rick Call, custodians at Rich Valley Elementary School.
“Skyla Wilson has been the head custodian at RVES since 2013. Rick Call joined her in 2019. Rich Valley’s custodial team keeps our building sparkling and shiny. Mrs. Wilson not only makes it sparkle but also brings the color to our building. We are blessed with her exquisite artwork. Her talent of making beautiful art in our hallways, classrooms, cafeteria, and gym make our building stand out. Mr. Rick brings joy and laughter to our building. His love for seeing which teacher screams the loudest when he pranks them is his outstanding quality. The love these two show to our students makes them stand out. Both can be heard talking and encouraging our students throughout the day.”
My School Shines Award also to Jimmy Pruitt, Mike Carver and Pat Hancock, custodians at Oak Point Elementary School.
“The custodians at OPES go above and beyond on a daily basis but really shined in April. The Region 7 VSBA met at OPES on April 27th and the building sparkled! They started weeks earlier making sure that every surface, corner, and window was shining for our visitors. Not only did they do their daily list, but there were many more things they did in anticipation of this event. We also want to thank the many teachers who volunteered to help clean windows and did various tasks to help get our building read for the VSBA Forum. All three of these men work hard every day to make sure that the building is in tip top shape for our students and faculty. They take immense pride in our building and it shows!”
School awards for attendance for April were presented to Oak Point Elementary for Most Improved, and to Rich Valley Elementary, Chilhowie Middle and Chilhowie High for best attendance.
Last day of school is Friday, May 19, with dismissal two hours early. Graduation ceremonies will take place on Thursday, May 18, at 7 p.m. at Northwood High School in Saltville, and on Friday, May 19, at 6 p.m. at Chilhowie High School and at 8 p.m. at Marion Senior High School.
The annual luncheon for bus drivers will take place on Thursday, May 25, at noon at Chilhowie High School.
A reception for retiring employees is scheduled for Thursday, June 8, at 4 p.m. at Riverfront Restaurant in Chilhowie.
The July regular board meeting will be held on Thursday, July 6 with public session beginning at 6 p.m.
Contact Linda Burchette at email@example.com.