Board opts to move clinic at Beddingfield

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In response to safety and aesthetic concerns, the new Wilson Area School-based Health Clinic at Beddingfield High School will be moved, slightly.

The Wilson County Board of Education voted unanimously Monday to adjust the positioning of 12-by-54-foot modular structure, which had been placed in front of the cafeteria near the student entrance to the school before board members and some parents objected.

Board members considered three options; one, to leave the building at its original spot; two, to move it to the corner of the cafeteria and place it at an angle; or 3, move it to the north of the student parking lot.

Elevation, handicapped accessibility and the cost of connecting the unit to water and sewer lines were considered in the decision.

Suggestions to move the building to the backside of the campus were considered, but that route was decided against because of other cost factors.

The option to move the building north of the student parking lot would have been four times more expensive than option 2.

“The question was raised as to the visibility from within the building and the safety issue, so with this at this angle, is there a visibility issue?’ asked board Chairwoman Christine Fitch. “The question was, if someone were coming around that building, they could not be seen. So with this placement that is proposed, would that rectify that issue of lack of visibility and the safety problem?”

Mark Letchworth, director of maintenance for Wilson County Schools, said an oblique placement would not solve all visibility issues, but Superintendent Lane Mills said cameras would be added to fill in any visibility gaps.

“Because of the appearance of the unit, we looked at providing a brick facade around the unit itself to better blend in with the appearance of the school,” Fitch said.

Fitch said the school system would have to absorb that cost.

“I think with option 2, there is one tree that has to come down but it also places the unit among the trees, which, for me, takes some of the edge off of it,” said board member Henry Mercer. “I feel that the superintendent and the maintenance department will do all they can to have proper lighting and proper surveillance and so forth in place.”
In other business, the board:

• learned Wilson County Schools had received a $44,000 grant from the Healthcare Foundation of Wilson for vegetable and salad bars at four schools in the fall, including Fike, Beddingfield and Hunt high schools and Speight Middle School.

• heard about the construction of a new WCS website that will be rolled out in a few weeks.

• passed new policies regarding attendance, confidentiality of personal identifying information, wireless communications, student searches, student promotion and accountability, interscholastic athletic eligibility, concussions and head injurys and student fees. The majority of the changes were to more closely adopt the style of the North Carolina School Boards Association.

• was notified of receipt of a $51,300 bid to paint the exposed ceiling of Speight Middle School so the work can begin.