The fate of Beallsville High School is still up in the air after a vote to close the school resulted in a tie.
The Switzerland of Ohio Board of Education met Wednesday in Woodsfield. After a lengthy executive decision, they announced a two-to-two vote on the matter.
It was a jam packed meeting with dozens of students, parents, staff, and community members piled into the Switzerland of Ohio School District Central Office. The thought of closing the school had a dozen people show up and speak out, saying this isn’t the right choice in saving the district money.
Many who spoke referenced the abundant amount of natural gas and oil activity happening within Beallsville as well as the district and questioned how those funds are being used.
“There is money coming into this district,” said Beallsville parent, Nikki Trigg. “We have talked to county officials, state officials, oil and gas workers; there’s millions that’s going to come into this district, there is no reason to close this high school.”
Board of Education president, Justin Islay says there is no clear direction and that another meeting could be held in the next week to discuss the matter further.
“It means there is a lack of clear majority, so right now the superintendent is searching for direction from our board, and we’re going to try to move forward with giving him some direction,” he said. “As far as that goes, possibly at the next board meeting, or schedule a special meeting.”
Many who wish to see the school remain open say should the school close, they will not keep their students in the district and will send them off to neighboring districts closest to their homes.
The vote now hangs in limbo as the fifth member of the board, Ron Winkler, was not in attendance to cast his vote. There is no clear answer as to why Winkler was not present.