75 portable classroom buildings coming to Kanawha County to replace 2 flooded-out schools

By Jeff Jenkins in News | August 15, 2016 at 3:30PM
ELKVIEW, W.Va. — The Kanawha County Board of Education will be asked Wednesday to approve a bid for a company to construct 75 portable classroom buildings to temporarily replace two schools destroyed in the June 23 flood.

Kanawha County Schools Director of Facilities Chuck Wilson will recommend ModSpace be given the contract to build 64 buildings on the Elkview Middle School football field for Herbert Hoover High School students and 11 portable buildings at Bridge Elementary for Clendenin Elementary students.
ModSpace had the most comprehensive plan for the projects, Wilson said.

ModSpace will use local workers as subcontractors to install electricity along with water and sewer lines. When the portable classroom buildings are no longer needed, ModSpace will return the football field to its original condition, Wilson said.

The Herbert Hoover project will also include covered boardwalks to protect the students from weather conditions as they switch classrooms and use Elkview Middle School’s cafeteria and gymnasium.

The 11 portable buildings at Bridge Elementary will have to be built in the school’s parking lot because the property behind the building is in the flood zone, Wilson said.

“We are going to have to take a lot of the parking lot to do it and those portables will also have to be elevated,” he said. “It’s going to be tight but we have a layout that will work.”

The total project is expected to top $10 million with FEMA reimbursing the county at least 75 percent. The agency has been asked to up the reimbursement rate to 90 percent.

It’s expected to take several weeks to construct the buildings. The contract includes penalties for delayed construction, Wilson said.

“It’s in our best interest and the best interest of students to have a new portable school. So we’re going to do everything we can to get them in there as fast as we can while meeting all of the regulatory and inspection requirements that go with the jobs,” Wilson said.

FEMA said both buildings housing Herbert Hoover and Clendenin Elementary students sustained substantial damage in the flood. The question remains where new schools will be built. The school system is still waiting on 100 confirmation that a new Herbert Hoover cannot be built on the current site. All that’s been received now is preliminary confirmation, Wilson said. There’s a chance Clendenin Elementary could be rebuilt on the same site.

“It could be built there or we may seek higher ground. Obviously if it’s built there it has to be built elevated and flood-proofed,” according to Wilson.

Hoover students are currently sharing a building with Elkview Middle School students. The high school students attend classes in the afternoons. Clendenin Elementary students and Bridge Elementary students are attending the same school on a regular schedule.

The Kanawha BOE is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday.