Counties ask for school building money

You are here

By Mackenzie Mays 
The Charleston Gazette

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- School districts across the state asked the West Virginia School Building Authority for funding for various projects Monday.

The SBA's spring meeting will continue today with Kanawha County Schools, the state's largest district, asking for more than $2 million to add on to Andrews Heights Elementary, where some students are housed in portable classrooms.

A total of 19 counties plan to ask for funding, adding up to more than $100 million in requests, with the SBA only planning to award about $45 million.

The largest request comes from Wayne County, where officials hope to receive up to $18 million to build two new schools for the rural district.

If approved, Wayne County will use the funding to create a new Ceredo Kenova Elementary School for students up to the fifth grade and a new Crum school for students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.

The students at Kenova Elementary are being housed in a temporary outdoor classroom "that is at the end of its useful life," according to SBA documents.

An addition and renovations, including those for security improvements, would also be made to Wayne High School.

The school has been ranked as the highest security risk in the county, with "no safe entry," according to the SBA. The school's setup also forces all students to travel outside between buildings.

The SBA has labeled Wayne County's current facilities as "poor," but the requests for state funding are contingent on the passage of a local bond up for vote in May.

Jackson County Schools asked the SBA for more than $17 million to build a new Ravenswood Middle School. If approved, the new school would replace the current facility, which was first built as a temporary school in 1950.

Brooke, Ritchie, Doddridge, Preston and Greenbrier counties also made requests on Monday.

In addition to Kanawha, Wirt, Mercer, Monongalia, Ohio, Mingo, Pocahontas and the West Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind were slated to make requests Tuesday.

The SBA will announce its selections April 28.