The community office -- staffed with help from the Charleston Community and Family Development Corporation -- is a way for people in the neighborhood to connect with services for their children and themselves.
Ralph Miller, chief executive officer of the Charleston Community and Family Development Corporation, said the community office runs after-school programs and connects families with Prestera and other services.
Meanwhile, the school's health clinic and dental clinic could open after West Side students return from a break in early October.
Rev. Matthew Watts, the pastor at Grace Bible Church and president/CEO of Hope Community Development Corp., called the land where the school now sits "sacred ground." In the 19th century and before West Virginia's statehood, a large slave plantation occupied the land along the Kanawha River.
"We redeemed this land," Watts said.
Guests at the roundtable also discussed dropout prevention and vocational education on Charleston's West Side.
Cynthia Phillips, a special education teacher at Capital High School, said schools would benefit from more parent involvement and more vocational and technical opportunities for students.
Tomblin noted new legislation that requires all new middle schools built in West Virginia to be "vocational equipped."
Yvonne Lee, a graduate student in social work, worries about local teenagers who've told her they plan to drop out of school and get pregnant. She wishes it wasn't so easy for them to simply drop out.
Reach Davin White at davinwh...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1254.