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West Ironton again topic of discussion

The future of West Ironton Elementary is getting discussion again from the city's board of education.

At a special meeting last week, board member Gary Neal stated he thought the school that houses all of the district's kindergarten students should be closed.

Neal said he got a phone call from a person who said that when it rains, the roof leaks and water runs down the wall inside the building. He also said he was motivated by the recent state fire marshal's order to move one of the kindergarten classes from the top floor to the main floor.

"Its unsafe, its unhealthy," Neal said. "I thank God my grand kids don't go there."

Board member Kathy McGinnis countered that the fire marshal was not questioning the building's safety, only enforcing a state law that prohibits kindergarten and first-grade students from occupying the top floor of any school.

"Wasn't size and age a part of it? The size and age of the child?" McGinnis asked Superintendent Stephen Kingery. "What about other safety issues?"

Kingery replied the building did pass safety inspections.

"But every time it rains, water runs down the wall. The plumbing stops up," Neal said.

"Are you aware of this?" board member Robert Pleasant asked Kingery.

The superintendent advised that no one had told him about plumbing problems or roof leaks. McGinnis asked that maintenance director Ralph Sneed investigate these issues and advise them of what he found at the next board meeting.

Board member Teresa Parker said she understood Neal's concerns and knew that some time in the future, the status of West Ironton Elementary would have to be discussed at length.

"This is something we'll have to look into as the year progresses," she said. Teresa Moore/The Ironton Tribune