West Virginia: The Boone County Career and Technical Center, which was closed on July 22nd because of meth contamination, does not expect to reopen to students by the start of the new school year on August 22, 2011.
The West Virginia trade school, which tested positive for meth residue earlier this summer, is not expected to be open to students for about three more weeks. During that time, Meth Lab Cleanup LLC, the company that was approved to perform the clean up at the school by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, expects to complete the remediation of the school in about two weeks. The meth lab cleanup company plans to put in 10 hour days and work weekends to help speed up the clean up process so that students can get back in to their school, as soon as possible. Once the clean up process has been completed, the school will remained closed for an additional week, time that will allow it to be retested and certified “clean” by the state of West Virginia.
Meth lab testing conducted in the building, prompted by a police investigation, revealed that 4 rooms in the school (the principal’s office, a hallway outside the office, a men’s bathroom, and a women’s bathroom) and duct work inside the school have been contaminated with .3 micrograms of meth per 100 square centimeter, a level that exceeds the state’s cleanup standard level of .1 micrograms per square inch.
(picture:) Keith Phipps, former principal (left) and Jack Turley, former teacher (right)
Jack Turley, a former teacher at the school, and Keith Phipps, former school principal, are believed to have caused the contamination at the school. According to news reports, Turley told West Virginia state police that he bought Sudafed pills from a man, manufactured meth with it, and then smoked it at the school with Principal Phipps.Both Turley and Phipps have been arrested on misdemeanor charges for buying over their legal limit of pseudoephedrine, the key ingredient needed to manufacture meth. Testing levels found at the school indicate that the men did not make meth at the school. Turley has been suspended by the school without pay. Phipps, the school’s former principal was also suspended, however he has reportedly been suspended with pay.
Until the school officially re-opens, its students will be attending classes in an alternate location that has yet to be determined:Boone County School Superintendent John Hudson hopes to confirm that location by next Wednesday.
Hopefully, the meth contamination at the Boone County Career and Technical School will be the first and last time that the county will have to pay for the clean up of one of its school buildings or any other county building. The meth cleanup process for the school has been estimated at approximately $169,000, an expense that places an expensive burden on the county’s budget. Luckily, the school’s Southern campus location, which is connected to the school that is being remediated, was not contaminated.