MANNINGTON, W.Va. (WBOY) — Marion County Schools officials have called in an outside engineering firm to check the structural integrity of the oldest operating school in West Virginia.

According to Superintendent Donna Heston, Ph.D., the Marion County Board of Education has contacted Thrasher Engineering to look into issues facing the tower area of Mannington Middle School.

The Marion County Board of Education (BOE) began taking safety precautions for the tower area of the school since the end of the school year of 2022, and Thrasher was contacted to look into the issue since before the school’s holiday break.

“We have been monitoring this situation for some time and have taken proactive approaches to ensure the safety of our students and the staff.”

Dr. Donna Heston, Superintendent of Marion County Schools

As a result of that inspection, the BOE does not believe there are overall structural issues with the middle school, Heston said.

Also as a result of Thrasher looking into the tower, Heston stated that the BOE does anticipate having to do maintenance to the area, however, they are “relying on Thrasher’s expertise to determine the best course of action.”

Heston said that, as of now, the main focus of the work would be on the porch area, as well as the entrance and exit; Heston also said that Mannington Middle School is the oldest school still operating in the state.