Assessment: Clendenin Elementary sustains nearly 97 percent substantial damage in flood

By Shauna Johnson in News
CLENDENIN, W.Va. — Nearly all of Clendenin Elementary School in Kanawha County was destroyed in the June 23 flood.

Confirmation of that came out of a county assessment, being submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Authority on Monday, which showed damage to 96.9 percent of the building along the Elk River, according to Dave Hardy, a Kanawha County commissioner.

“The number is just stunning,” Hardy told MetroNews soon after receiving the official assessment. “It’s well beyond any possible chance of rehabilitation.”

When the new school year begins on Aug. 8, students at Clendenin Elementary School were already scheduled to be in classes with students at Bridge Elementary School until portable classrooms were fully installed.

Earlier this month, a damage assessment determined Herbert Hoover High School sustained 70.09 percent substantial damage. During a community meeting last week, Kanawha County school officials said a replacement school would be built with funding help from FEMA.

“FEMA did it for us,” Pete Thaw, a Kanawha County Board of Education member, said at that meeting of the decision to close Hoover at its existing site permanently. “FEMA does not even entertain giving money on a school that badly damaged.”

Hoover students will start the new school year on a split schedule with students at Elkview Middle School. That will continue until a new Hoover campus, in portable classrooms, is in place on the Elkview Middle football field.

For Clendenin Elementary, “I think it’s pretty obvious that there’s no chance whatsoever to rehabilitate that building and, frankly, it would be probably a mistake to do that with this type of number,” Hardy said.

“This is just another indication of how much damage we have along the Elk and how much work we still have to do.”