Unsafe conditions lead to safety concerns in Montgomery County schools

Christiansburg and Belview Elementary schools both failed to live up to roof safety expectations

Christiansburg and Belview Elementary schools both failed to live up to roof safety expectations

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. – Tensions were high during a school board meeting in Montgomery County Monday night.

The joint Board of Supervisors meeting brought concerns for safety in several local elementary schools. Board of Supervisors Chair Sherri Blevins was taken aback by these problems.

“It was very alarming to hear, especially with Belview Elementary School, that the roof is in a failed condition after we’ve spent millions of dollars to renovate that,” Blevins said.

The roof at Christiansburg Elementary and the sprinkler system at Eastern Montgomery Elementary are also topics of contention.

“We shouldn’t hear that the sprinkler system is in violation and would not adequately put out a fire,” Blevins said. “Now they have to have a designated person at that school to monitor if there’s a fire because the sprinkler system is not working. That is totally unacceptable.”

Blevins said there has been a lack of communication on the side of the school board.

“Just a complete disconnect as to why this wasn’t brought as a priority,” she said. “I know that some school board members said they would kick it down the road, or address it later, but safety is always first and foremost.”

Moving forward, Blevins hopes for more transparency when it comes to issues of school safety.

“It starts from the top all the way down to the bottom. And there are going to be some real challenges with the school board moving forward to reestablish that transparency and trust. Not just trust with the Board of supervisors, but trust with the community and their own staff and employees,” she said.

The school board is working on a plan to address the safety problems in the elementary schools.


About the Author:

Abbie is a multimedia journalist finishing up her senior year at Virginia Tech. You can watch her report on weekday evenings.