Counties set to make their pitches to state School Building Authority

By Jeff Jenkins in News
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Nineteen West Virginia county school superintendents will appear before the state School Building Authority Monday and Tuesday hoping to convince authority members to approve funding for their school construction projects.

The authority has approximately $28.5 million available for this year’s round of funding and another $14.2 million for multi-year projects.

The presentations are scheduled to begin Monday afternoon at state Lottery headquarters in Charleston.

Among the projects to be discussed include renovations to Berkeley Springs High School in Morgan County. The county school board there is seeking a total of $6.1 million.

Berkeley County has plans to update the HVAC systems at four elementary schools. It has $12.5 million in local funds and is asking the SBA for another $4.9 million.

Monongalia County will be one of 11 counties scheduled to present projects to the SBA beginning Tuesday morning. Superintendent Frank Devono will request $3.2 million in SBA funds to go with $2.2 million in local funds to finance a 12-classroom addition at South Middle School in Morgantown.

Fayette County could be one of the favorites to get some of the funding. The county has been working with the state Board of Education and the SBA’s staff on a multi-year plan. The county will ask for $22 million from the SBA. It plans to combine that with $17 million in local funds The money will be used for a new Collins Middle School and a new PK-2 elementary school. Those moves would domino into several school closings.

The SBA is scheduled to make its funding decisions at a meeting scheduled for Dec. 11.