SBA approves nearly $60 million in school construction, renovation projects
Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail
The West Virginia School Building Authority board Monday awarded about $59.1 million in construction and renovation money to 22 county school systems, including $7 million to fix the heating and cooling issues and replace part of the roof of Kanawha County’s Ben Franklin Career Center.
About a dozen Ben Franklin teachers filed a grievance against Kanawha’s school system in August 2016 over the school’s heating and cooling issues. The heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system there is being overhauled using SBA and local funding.
The SBA board voted Monday to provide $49.2 million out of this year’s “needs” grant funding cycle, alongside $9.9 million out of next year’s needs cycle.
The SBA has about $50 million to distribute in each annual needs cycle, so Mike Hall, an assistant SBA director of school planning and construction, expects to have around $40 million in next year’s cycle.
Kanawha received the most money of any county that got single-year funding. The largest total amount awarded was to Mercer County for a new prekindergarten through second-grade school: $6.2 million in this year’s needs cycle and $4.5 million from next year’s.