WHEELING — The former media center at Triadelphia Middle School is finding a renewed purpose just as Ohio County Schools is seeking to begin its community-in-schools liaisons program.
The school district was initially awarded grant money to employ three school liaisons, and thus far they have hired two — Unique Murphy, and current Bethlehem and West Liberty elementary schools principal Stacy Dietz. Murphy and Dietz’s appointments as school liaisons were approved by board of education members this week.
The school district has since asked the DOE for a fourth liaison, and the additional position was approved.
The third and fourth liaisons are to be hired before school starts, according to Assistant Superintendent Rick Jones.
Jones told board members the school liaison jobs will be funded by the state, but after “about five or six years down the road” the school district may have to pay up to 15% of their cost.
The liaisons will be placed countywide from kindergarten to the high school level.
“This puts social workers in schools to be liaisons between families and social work availabilities out there,” he said.
As renovation work happened at Triadelphia Middle School, the decision was made by school officials to save money and not tear down the annex building behind the school.
The idea was the facility could also still be used.
Sparing the annex building from the wrecking ball turned out to be a fortuitous move, as it will now be used by the liaisons as a place for students and families to find assistance, Jones said.
“We will have a centrally located hub for clothing, food and anything anybody needs at the Triadelphia Middle School annex building,” he explained.
“We’re going to make part of that annex into a shopping experience. We will use Stacy’s expertise (as a clothing shop owner) to have great clothing for everyone.”
The school district already is beginning to ask the district to donate gently worn items for the store.
And the need doesn’t just stop with clothing, according to Dietz. She has already put out the call asking if anyone has “a working washer and dryer” they might want to donate to the school district as she starts a giving tree in her new position.
Ohio County Schools innovation coordinator JoJo Shay also is setting up a technology center at the annex building.
“Anybody who needs paper for their printer, ink or any kind of robotics tool, she has made a room there for all of that,” Jones said. “She has also turned another room there into a technology training center. It’s all for teaching teachers how to use tech.”
Ohio County Schools will continue to house its alternative learning classes on the first floor of the media center, according to Jones.
Today’s breaking news and more in your inbox