Monday, June 14, 2010

Current Woodburn Site Design

June 14, 2010

New School Design for Current Woodburn Site to Have a Public Showing
The public is invited to view a 3-D conceptual design for a new green school on the current Woodburn site on Wednesday, June 16 at 7:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 456 Spruce Street, Morgantown, WV. The New Woodburn Community School Initiative sponsored the design and is hosting the showing. All are invited to attend. Woodburn parent and LEED AP, Chris Haddox, will present the proposed design to the public. The Monongalia County Board of Education has persistently said that a new school could not be built on the current four-acre site of Woodburn Elementary. Please come view how it may be done.

The proposed design accommodates 450 students in a school to be built on the current site through phased construction. Meeting West Virginia School Building Authority criteria, the design includes separate bus and parent drop off, secured entrances, appropriate parking, modern green facilities and playgrounds, all on the beautiful existing site overlooking the Deckers Creek watershed. Please view The New Woodburn Community School Initiative for more information at
Contact: Susan Eason 304-296-2415

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Deer Hunt Committee Should Browse

Go to the following link for an editorial in the Dominion Post on June 1, 2010 regarding the failure of the Deer Hunt Committee to proceed in a proper manner in reaching it's conclusion that recommends killing the deer in our yards. The DP points out one of the main subjects raised at the public meetings "WHAT IS THE PROBLEM" has never been defined. The editorial points out that the deer hunt committee based its recommendations on anecdotal evidence from some complaints to someone about something related to deer. No research has even been done on the numbers of deer, impact of deer, documented cases of accident or lyme decease. What we have are a few people crying about the deer eating their tulips and the committees knee jerk reaction to kill them. Please read the editorial. Thanks

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Deer Hunt Committee Shot Down

For now the Morgantown Deer Hunt Committee recommendation to kill the deer in Morgantown neighborhoods has been 'shot down'. Thanks to the citizens that came to council chambers denouncing the committee City Council did not act. No one spoke in favor of the killing. In fact it is hard to find anyone who supports the deer killing that is not on the committee that is made up of mostly hunters. The committee chairman is an avid bow hunter and writes articles about killing deer. The committee seems to have completely mishandled their charge. It was speculated and reported in the Dominion Post that the committee had a predetermined conclusion and was only going though the public meeting process to appease. Morgantown citizens however were not fooled and called out the committee on multiple occasions and it all climaxed with the committee being exposed as bias, incompetent and lacking due diligence in their decision making. For now the deer are safe from being slaughtered while they sleep, eat and play in our backyards but be sure that those who see these animals as a 'problem' will continue to call for their killing.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

WAN Meeting Scheduled

A Woodburn Association of Neighbors meeting will be held April 19th at 7:00 PM in the Woodburn Elementary multipurpose/ gym.

Letter to BOE and meeting tonight

The following is a copy of a letter to be delivered to the Monongalia County BOE at tonights meeting. Anyone interested in the future of Woodburn School should attend tonights meeting. There is a tour of Mountaineer Middle at 6:00 p.m. and then the regular business meeting at 7:00 p.m. at the administrative board office on S. High Street.

The Monongalia County Board of Education
13 South High Street
Morgantown, WV 26501

Dear Dr. Devono and members of the Board of Education,

On Monday, April 12, 2010, three members of the Woodburn Association of Neighbors, Susan Eason, Tom Shamberger and Chris Haddox, met with Dr. Mark Manchin of the WV School Building Authority (SBA). The purpose of the visit was to gain a better understanding of the SBA's role in working with county Boards of Education that are seeking funding for school projects. More specifically, it was to learn what influence the SBA holds over local Boards when they are crafting their school projects for submission for SBA consideration.

Over the course of the ninety minute discussion, several things emerged that countered what we had been led to believe by different members of our local Board at various meetings around the proposed consolidation of Woodburn and Easton Elementary Schools. First, Dr. Manchin informed us that the seven-acre site guideline is just that--a guideline. He went over the process by which Boards can request waivers to site size guidelines, pointing out that the request can be made by a simple letter to the SBA and that the SBA has sole discretion whether to grant the wavier. There is no convoluted process involving the WV Board of Education or any other entity, as both you and architect Mr. Shriver supposed. Dr. Manchin pointed to examples where waivers have been granted.

When asked about the site visit Dr. Manchin made to the Woodburn site, he candidly admitted he felt it was a tough site, but allowed that had the Board wished to show how it could develop a project on the existing site of 4 acres, a waiver could have been within the realm of possibility. This is a very different story than you, specifically Board President Walker, shared with us when the message was communicated that Dr. Manchin would not support a school on the current Woodburn site as it did not meet the seven acre.

Second, when asked about the Boards message that if it did not submit a plan in this round of funding, there would be a high chance of missing an opportunity as next year's SBA budget would be significantly lower, Dr. Manchin indicated that yes, this years funding is about as sure a thing as there is. However, there is projected to be another $60-$70 million available in next years round and as the SBA wants very much to do a showcase project in Morgantown, and as very few Boards in West Virginia have the capacity to pull off such a project, the chances of funding would be very high next year as well.

When presented with our perception that the SBA's understanding of sustainable design and development is centered on one small component of that process, the building itself, Dr. Manchin acknowledged this was the case. He did say that the SBA's vision is broadening and the current vision in no way precludes Boards from bringing forth cutting edge proposals for consideration. In fact, the SBA grasps the long term and far reaching impacts of school siting decisions on the larger community and believes in community based school approaches as identified by numerous entities such as the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Council for Educational Facility Planners International. We were left with the distinct impression that a proposal from this Board that was crafted in coordination with the City of Morgantown Comprehensive Plan, the City of Morgantown Housing Study, the City of Morgantown Downtown Strategic Plan, and the MPO/DOH plans for addressing the Mileground traffic quagmire would be welcomed. Such a plan could put both this Board and the SBA firmly on the path to a cutting edge sustainable design worthy of national exposure. As it stands now, a high performance building on a Greenfield site with no walkability will fall way short of that goal.

As Dr. Manchin pointed out multiple times, it is very late in this ballgame to be addressing the issues we raised. In his words, "it would have been helpful to have this discussion several months ago." In initial meetings between Board members Statler and Kelly and our Woodburn representatives, we were asked to please not contact Dr. Manchin directly, but to let Dr. Devono communication with him so as to not muddy the waters and we honored that request. In hindsight, there was too much at stake to not have our own dialogue with Dr. Manchin.

In closing we request that the Board take the current proposal off the table, request a planning grant from the SBA and spend the next six months preparing a new proposal for a school that is based in an existing residential community, is pedestrian accessible and that is conceived in coordination with the aforementioned planning processes. This proposal can be submitted to the November 2010 funding round.


Susan Eason
Tom Shamberger
Chris Haddox

Friday, March 26, 2010

WAN Meeting Issues Regarding School

At the Woodburn Assoc. meeting Monday 3-29-10 night it was agreed to continue to fight the closing of Woodburn School and moving it out of the neighborhood. It was agreed to send emails to the State School Building Authority sharing our concerns and doubts about the Mileground location. Additionally it was learned that the State BOE Facilities Director, Bill Elswick also has an important role to play, having to approve the new facility as well.

At the BOE meeting Tuesday night it was reported that Devono moved that Woodburn and Easton be consolidated and a new school be built as long as a list of conditions were met. One of those he said was that State BOE approve an AMENDMENT to the CEFP (I am assuming the last 10 year CEFP since the new one has not been approved???!!).

We heard at the meeting Monday night that BIll Elswick of the State Board of Ed. that if an amending to the LAST CEFP was to be made that a public hearing would have to be held. A public hearing has NOT occurred that I am aware of. Folks are encouraged to write him about their concerns over the process, especially to include concerns about the bogus site survey the architect, Ted Shriver conducted NEVER revealing the location of the Mileground site (how can one evaluate a site without knowing anything about it????), plus no information was given about acreage for each site or cost of acquisition... so how can you fairly rank those criteria??? He also noted that the CEFP in process has not been approved or had it's public hearing AND the last CEFP, if changed would have to have PUBLIC hearing... again, which I have not heard.

Please write: Bill Elswick at the State WV Dept. of Education with your concerns.

Remember the public hearing for the CEFP under development which calls for the consolidation of Woodburn and Easton is not until May 17 at UHS.

Please write March Manchin, State School Building Authority Director with your concerns about the current site. Johnathan Deem is the chair of the SBA. I have not found an email for him yet.

The WAN thanks you for your continued efforts around this issue!!!!!

For other info see this link:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Deer Control Committee Chairman talks to WAN

Deer Control Committee Chairman Dr. David Samuel met with the WAN last night at Woodburn Elementary School. Dr Samuel started off the meeting by saying that the committee was formed to deal with the increase number of complaints about deer and to make a recommendation to City Council on what to do about the problem. Dr Samuel then described how the deer bow hunt will be conducted. Dr Samuel said that the hunts will take place in areas of 9 acres or more, the hunters will be in tree stands and might use bate. Dr Samuel emphasized that the committee has not made a decision yet on whether or not to recommend killing the deer. Dr Samuel went on to describe how hunters will not be roaming the neighborhood and that the hunts will take place from daylight to an hour before sunset and that he thought the hunts could start this fall but he emphasized the committee has not made a decision yet on whether or not to recommend killing the deer. Dr. Samuel stated "I have a bunch of bow hunters on the committee" and went on to explain that they will make sure there are NO accidents with the hunt and he explained how there are no alternatives such as fencing, plant materials, repellents that work and said every community that has researched this came up with the conclusion that the hunt is the only option. Dr Samuel said the deer meat can go to Bartlett House, the Salvation Army and the hunter but he emphasized the committee has not made a decision yet on whether or not to recommend killing the deer.
Reasons for killing the deer were then discussed and include automobile collisions with the deer and lyme disease, it was also stated that there is no documentation of either ever occurring in the area. However there is proof that shrubs, gardens and flowers are being eaten.

Monday, March 22, 2010

WAN Meeting Agenda

Woodburn Association of Neighbors
Meeting Agenda
Monday, March 22, 2010
Woodburn Elementary Gym

1. Welcome, Introductions and Approval of Minutes

2. Urban Deer Committee – members of the committee will be present information on the Urban Deer Hunt, followed by a question and answer period.

3. Woodburn Elementary School 100th Anniversary - updates on the planning of the May 22, 2010 celebration. The celebration will be from 10 AM to 2:00PM

- Volunteers will be needed for serving and clean-up.
- Donate $75.00 to the celebration?

4. Update on the Woodburn/Easton Consolidation – updates on what has been happening the past couple of weeks.

- If the SBA funding comes through, what do we do?
We need to start thinking NOW of ideas on how to use the current Woodburn site and buildings if they do move forward with a new school off the Mileground. Some ideas that have been mentioned so far (the building is big enough to incorporate more than one option depending on how it is used):
Magnet School
Private School
Dance studio
Restaurant/Coffee Shop
Pottery Studio
Non-profit Hub
- If the SBA funding does not come through, what do we do?

5. Other Business
- Trash
- Woodburn Clean-up April 24th
- Next meeting- City of Morgantown Historical Landmark

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Next WAN Meeting

The next meeting of the Woodburn Association of Neighbors is scheduled for Monday March 22, 2010 at 7:00 at Woodburn Elementary School Gymnasium, 918 Fortney Street. One of the topics will be the proposed Urban Deer Hunt. The City Urban Deer Committee is proposing that deer in the City be killed using bow and arrows. Hunters would be located in tree stands around town and shoot at the deer as they pass by. City Officials hope that the killing will stop complaints from residents about their flowers and shrubs being eaten.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Woodburn School Coverage Continues

Included here is a letter to the editor by Woodburn resident Tony Christini found in Sunday's Dominion Post
and an editorial in the Monday 3-15-10 DP

You can also find these sites by going to the Woodburn School Issues box to the right.

MEETING: BOE's meeting tomorrow Tuesday 3-16-10 at 7:00pm at the Board offices on High Street. Please attand to show your support for the school.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Woodburn School Site Selection Issues

The Monongalia County Board of Education is in the process of selecting a site to build a new school to replace the current Woodburn School. Supporters of the Woodburn neighborhood have been working hard and meeting with the BOE to assure the best site for the future of the neighborhood is selected. Go to this link for a letter that appeared in the Dominion Post recently.
You can also reach this link by going to the Woodburn School Issues Box on lower right side of this page.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Meeting With BOE

The meeting with the Monongalia County Board of Education is at 7:00 PM at Woodburn Elementary School in the multipurpose room (the new building behind the school)Thursday February 25,2010. Two Board members will be attending, Dr. Frank Devono and Nancy Walker. It is board policy to send only two members, otherwise a quorum is reached and is considered a board meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the future of Woodburn Elementary School. The Board recently released plans to close Woodburn and Easton and build a new school near the Mileground and route 705

Monday, February 22, 2010

Special Meeting Scheduled

Thursday, February 25, 2010 there will be a special meeting of the Woodburn Association of Neighbors. Superintendent of the Monongalia County Schools, Frank Devano, and all the school board members have been invited to discuss the closing of Woodburn School and combining with Easton Elementary School. This date is tentative at this time, we have not heard back from the school board as of yet. The Board will discuss at THEIR Board meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 7:00 p.m. whether or not to attend the WAN meeting. So, the invitation is up for discussion about how they will respond. The meeting will be at Woodburn Elementary at 7:00 p.m.

Monday, February 01, 2010


Please go to this link to view the agends for tonights 2-1-10 7:00 PM meeting.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Next WAN meeting

A meeting of the Woodburn Association of Neighbors has been scheduled for Monday, February 1, 2010. The meeting will be held at 7:00 PM at Crosley's (next to Mario's Fish Bowl)

At this meeting, the annual election of officers will take place. If there is any one that would like to run for an office, please contact Donna Hartman at All positions have at least one candidate running since the current officers are all willing to run again.

The other BIG topic of the meeting will be the Woodburn Elementary School and its future here in our neighborhood. There will be an update of the current thinking of combining Easton and Woodburn. If you want to keep the school in Woodburn, now is the time to come forward!

Friday, January 22, 2010

City Forms Deer Hunt Committee

The following article appeared in the Dominion Post on January 20, 2010

Publication: The Dominion Post; Date:2010 Jan 20; Section:Local; Page Number: 1-B
City forms deer hunt committee

Member: ‘This thing will not be necessary’

BY ALEX LANG The Dominion Post

Morgantown’s Urban Deer Committee has formed, and at least one member said he feels there is no need for a hunt.
“I think you are going to find this thing will not be necessary,” member Ray Swager told Morgantown City Council at its Tuesday meeting.
Swager said he talked with more than 200 residents, and more than 80 percent said they don’t see the deer as a problem. He canvassed door-to-door in some neighborhoods.
Dave Samuel will chair the committee. Other members include Morgantown Council member Marti Shamberger, BOPARC Director Mark Wise and a WVU representative. City Attorney Steve Fanok will be the city staff liaison. More committee members may be added.
Its first meeting will be Thursday.
Some city residents called for an urban hunt. They have said there is an increasing number of deer in the area, and they are becoming a nuisance and a health issue.
The committee will study whether Morgantown has a problem with deer, Swager said. While there is some anecdotal evidence, he said many others say it’s not a problem.
Swager also called for Samuel to be removed as the committee’s chair. Samuel is a retired wildlife professor who writes a hunting column for several publications, including The Dominion Post. Because of Samuel’s history, Swager called for him to be a person the group can turn to for information, but not the chair.
Samuel said he had no response to Swager’s comment. He said the mayor asked him to serve, and he will do so unless the council asks him not to. Samuel said he was probably chosen because he has worked with other municipalities when they established urban deer hunts. Wheeling, Weirton, Bridgeport and Bethlehem already have such hunts.
When the committee meets, Swager said he will suggest they have multiple public meetings. He said the area might not have an overpopulation problem, but the deer are an issue. “All I know is a lot of people are angry,” Samuel said. “Sitting here and not doing anything is a plan for disaster.”
Samuel said he would be surprised if Morgantown doesn’t join the other cities that already have deer hunts.
City Manager Dan Boroff said the group will develop a list of options for the council regarding the deer. He said he hopes the council will have the list in the next 3-4 months.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

BOE 10 Year Facility Plan

Monongalia Board of Education is conducting its 10 Year Facility Plan. Woodburn Elementary School is one of the schools they are looking to either renovate or put on the "chopping block". Please take some time to consider filling out the online survey. Loosing our elementary school, in my opinion, would be a huge loss to our neighborhood. Please take time to convey your opinion and thoughts to the consulting firm working with our school board. Go to the following web site to review the plan.

Pedestrian Board Petition

The Morgantown Pedestrian Safety Board is looking for support of the Service Fee to produce income to improve sidewalks in the city limits and connect all neighborhoods by walkable corridors. The petition will go to City Council. If you would like to sign that petition go to the following web site.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Woodburn Association of Neighbors has not been scheduled.