Cumberland Times-News

December 23, 2010

Keyser Primary planning to start early next year

Emily Newman
Cumberland Times-News

— KEYSER W.Va. — The overriding topic of the Mineral County School Board meeting Tuesday was the approval of the plans for the construction of Keyser Primary School. The beginning stages of planning are set to start in March or April, but Skip Hackworth, superintendent of the Mineral County schools , hopes to start as soon as next month.

“We learned a lot of lessons when we built Keyser High.  We don't want to rush (its construction),” said Hackworth.

In order to have it ready for the fall of 2013 and to be as thorough as possible, the planning would need to begin in January or February, which would normally take two months. The designing and development would each take approximately three months and after that, the bidding and construction process has an estimated 14 month completion. Which sets it opening just in time for fall of 2013.

“I personally want to thank Superintendent Hackworth for how hard that he worked” said Terry LaRue, board member, “He didn’t take no for an answer.” 

LaRue’s comment sparked a unanimous agreement of the board members, praising Hackworth’s hard work and persistence, despite being turned down several times from the School Building Authority.

“It’s like a dream come true. It’s something we’ve been working on for nine years,” said Mary Aronhalt, vice president.

According to Hackworth, the Keyser Primary Middle School is currently at 138 percent capacity.  That figure is found through a formula that involves giving each student a certain number of square feet and comparing it against the square footage of the school.

The new primary school would hold 650 students and the plans include a cafeteria, gymnasium and possibly a media center. The total cost of the proposed school is estimated at just over $13.9 million and was designed by the architecural firm Blackwood Associates Inc.

Hackworth opened the meeting with announcing five teachers and one nurse in Mineral County schools have been certified from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Heidi Bradshaw, Fountain Primary; Janet Cosner, Frankfort High; Beth Knotts, Keyser Primary-Middle; Janey Moore, Elk Garden; and Kerri Staggers, Keyser Primary-Middle; and Roberta Jones, nurse at New Creek Primary and Keyser Head Start were all given the prestigious award that usually takes up to two years to complete and is earned through performance-based assesments.  

“It’s wonderful and I think it’s going to help me as a teacher,” said Moore, reading specialist at Elk Garden. “We had to complete four projects. Two were projects where you had to video yourself and then evaluate yourself. There was a writing assesment and we had to document our accomplishments outside of the classroom.”

Moore also had to complete a test comprised of essay questions in her field of language arts and reading.

Emily Newman can be contacted at