Warren County Schools to remove asbestos from Ressie Jeffries

FRONT ROYAL–For the second time in three years, Warren County Public Schools is going to pay to remove asbestos from Ressie Jeffries Elementary School.

At their meeting Wednesday, members of the Warren County Public Schools Board agreed unanimously to pay Pittsnogle, LLC up to $150,000 to remove asbestos from Ressie Jeffries. They will also pay WECI up to $25,000 to monitor the project.

“There’s not much you can do,” C. Douglas Rosen said before making a motion to approve the payment. “You’ve got to do it. You have to get rid of the asbestos.”

Back in 2015, the Warren County Public Schools Board had WECI and Pittsnogle remove and monitor asbestos in the boiler room of Ressie Jeffries. The board voted at the time to spend $117,700 to remove the asbestos.

Now, Pittsnogle will be removing asbestos from floor tiles at Ressie Jeffries. The school system had been planning on removing carpet that was on top of these floor tiles as part of a renovation effort in the school, according to Melody Sheppard, assistant superintendent for administration at the Warren County Schools.

But previous experience has caused the school district to suspect that there is asbestos under the carpet, Sheppard wrote in an email. When the carpet removal was brought to the attention of WECI and Pittsnogle, WECI recommended that the school remove asbestos from the carpet.

The asbestos removal will be funded through contingency funds for the new Warren County Middle School. The school system has spent less than $400,000 of those contingency funds out of a total of more than $900,000, Sheppard said.

The board also discussed and unanimously approved the following:

• The board decided to make four hires and spend money on new technology equipment as the school system gets ready for the new Warren County Middle School. They agreed to hire a part-time secretary for the middle school and approved three positions in the cafeteria. They also voted to pay around $24,000 for equipment for the technology education laboratory at the middle school.

• The board decided to upgrade to a faster broadband internet service. The new internet service will come at a discounted cost of $11,800, about $3,500 more than their current service.

• The board voted to spend over $87,000 to purchase Powerschool Assessment, an online system that can help teachers create practice Virginia Standard of Learning assessments.

• The board extended the Warren County Public Schools contract with Source4Teachers, a company that hires substitute teachers,  for one year.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated.