DELBARTON – Last Thursday, newly consolidated Burch Pre K-8 opened the doors to welcome elementary and middle school students to new facilities, renovations and opportunities.
“There is excitement in the air from everyone,” Principal Leah Wireman stated as she proudly showed off the new facilities created to house the elementary students and staff that moved from the old Burch Elementary School.
Other new additions to the school include new office space, computer labs and a courtyard. “We hope to put planters in this area and grow fruits and vegetables,” Wireman said as she pointed out the new courtyard.
“Of course, everything was done in Burch blue,” Wireman laughed as she walked down the new elementary school hallways. “We just couldn’t be happier,” she continued.
Plans to consolidate the elementary and middle schools in the Delbarton area began in 2014. “The project began before I got the job as principal in 2014 with the School Board Authority and Mingo County Schools to have the Burch Pre K-8 School,” Wireman explained. “After I became principal here, we began construction meetings in January 2015. Construction itself actually began in March of 2015,” Wireman explained.
Wireman reports that the transition to the consolidated school went smoothly on opening day. “Transition has gone very well. We have had community events inviting our elementary school teachers and students to do activities with our middle school students and staff throughout last year. Our opening day was Thursday and everything went smoothly. We are very thankful for that. We just could not be happier with how things opened up the first day,” Wireman stated.
Wireman thanked the students, community and Mingo County Schools for the opportunity to lead Burch Pre K-8. “I am very excited to be here at Burch. I am blessed and I look forward to working with our students, community and parents. We have a great community and wonderful children. I am also happy for all the help that we have been getting from our Mingo County Board of Education,” Wireman said.
Jennifer Davis, a Kindergarten teacher at Burch Pre K-8, was busy getting everything ready in her classroom last Friday when the Williamson Daily News toured the new facilities. Tuesday will be the first day of school for Mingo County Kindergarten students. Davis explained that the changes offered a fresh start for some students. “We are going to have a great year. We are so excited. I think this will really motivate the kids to try their best and they will have a new start too. Some of them don’t always have a great year and this will be a fresh start for them,” Davis said.
Mingo Schools Maintenance Supervisor James Ed Baisden reported that the contractors got a little behind early in the process. One reason was they ran into an old storage tank while digging and had to contact the EPA. The other reason was rainy weather. Baisden said it was difficult for the contractors to work outside in the fall and spring because of the heavy amount of rainfall. But Baisden praised the workers and the good job they did in building the new Burch school building.
Wireman would like to welcome the community to an Open House scheduled today (Tuesday) at Burch Pre K-8 from the hours of 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
(Courtney Harrison is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)