The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

November 29, 2013

Our Readers Speak — Friday, Nov. 29, 2013


Don’t stand in way of Greenbrier pool

I have been following the Greenbrier County Commission meetings for a couple of years concerning the pool renovation at the New River Community and Technical College. It is a horrible situation how the college is being criticized and bad-mouthed at the meetings and in newspaper articles. I am concerned and upset hearing the continued debate about the $1 million issue. I don’t believe the general public is aware of the extensive initial planning and expense the college incurred prior to the start of the renovation/construction project. Greenbrier citizens could have been enjoying the benefits of a pool and students would have a new student union and an additional arts classroom facility by now if it had not been for a few people interfering with the project.

A legal suit was filed last December, which isn’t over yet despite a judge’s ruling several months ago. The construction project benefits Greenbrier County, not a private individual or company. It is my understanding the judge’s ruling never stated the $1 million that was given to the college by the commission had to be returned. So it is confusing why the Greenbrier County Commission continues to pursue and demand the money be returned by the college.

I commend Mr. Hanna for his involvement in education and starting and recognizing the importance of maintaining a good relationship with the community college in Lewisburg. Ms. Karen Lobban should be applauded for her perseverance as she continues to work with her fellow commissioners despite criticism on several issues by the public. I remember Mr. McClung’s adamant position regarding waiting for the judge’s decision. He was never willing to resolve the pool issue by accepting any of the offers proposed by the college.

Finally, I direct this to Mary Jo Sharp. She ignores the judge’s ruling and accuses the college of breaking the law by not returning the $1 million. She continues to harp about that and attacks the college at every Greenbrier County meeting. She does not address the fact that she was one of the persons who filed the initial suit against the Greenbrier County Commission a year ago. Consequently, the Greenbrier County Commission was responsible for thousands of dollars in attorney fees to Barry Bruce. She needs to take responsibility for incurring that ($22,000) expense to Greenbrier County.

I encourage everyone to please stop belittling and persecuting the community college by pursuing the return of the $1 million. Let New River Community and Technical College complete the Arts, Recreation and Student Union Building in Lewisburg.

I conclude by stating several friends and myself continue to travel to the YMCA pool at Low Moor, Va., twice a week since we need the health benefits of water therapy.

Thank you and sincerely,

Christine C. Chwirut

Lewisburg