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Students help in Musselman's new school move

June 01, 1998|By CLYDE FORD

by Richard T. Meagher / staff photographer

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library moves

INWOOD, W.Va. - Musselman High School English teacher Steve Pitzer watched as the football players loaded heavy metal filing cabinets onto the back of a pickup truck.

"We've got a lot of good kids here at this school," Pitzer said.

Students, teachers and other staff members started loading moving vans and school buses Monday morning for the short trip on U.S. 11 from the current Musselman High School to the new school.

Principal John Cole said the move is expected to continue through June 12, after which the old high school will be converted into a middle school.

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The new $16 million high school has more than 180,000 square feet, double the 90,000 square feet at the old school.

All of the learning space will be under one roof. At the old school, students had to go outside to reach portable classrooms where some classes were held.

The new building has outlets for 1,000 computers, compared to 100 at the old one.

"We've just totally outgrown it," Cole said.

Davey Pappas, 18, of Back Creek Valley, W.Va., graduated Sunday from Musselman High School, but returned as a volunteer to help move furniture.

"I won't be here next year and I wanted to look around," Pappas said.

His brother, Tim Pappas, 16, who will be a junior in the fall, said he did not have other plans, so he decided to help out.

"It gives me something to do this summer," Tim Pappas said.

"I felt sorry they didn't have moving people," said Jesse Moore, 16, also a junior from Back Creek Valley. "I didn't want the teachers to have to do it themselves."

Students said they will miss the closeness of the former school, but are looking forward to attending classes in the new building.

The new building is equipped with bright classrooms, large science rooms complete with a rooftop greenhouse, a large auditorium and two gymnasiums.

Dennis Markley, head custodian at the school, said he's never seen a high school with so much storage space.

"At other schools, they'd turn the closets this size into classrooms," Markley said.

The school's media center will be the South Berkeley Public Library, serving students and the community, according to school librarian Bonnie Brannon.

Brannon and Norma Coe, librarian for the South Berkeley Public Library, attended Martinsburg High School together in the 1950s and served on the school newspaper together.

"We started our careers working together and we'll end them together," Brannon said.

Brannon said new bar codes were put on all 10,000 books to make them compatible with the public library system's computers.

The former high school's library has 6,000 square feet of space. The South Berkeley Public Library, near Inwood on W.Va. 51, has 480 square feet of space. The combined library measures 8,000 square feet, including a children's library wing.

The library has a separate entrance for the public so that they don't have to go through the school building.

Brannon and Coe said they traveled to several states to see how other school and public libraries operated. The library will open to the public in mid-September, they said.

The South Berkeley Public Library will close in July, Coe said.

Cole and several of the students said they expect the traditions and spirit of the old school to be present in the new building.

About 25 memorial markers honoring students who died over the decades will be moved from behind the old school to the grounds of the new school, Cole said.

"There's a lot of history and tradition here," Cole said.

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