Kanawha BOE urges Elk River residents to attend meeting mapping out flooded schools’ future

By Jeff Jenkins in News
ELKVIEW, W.Va. — Residents in the flooded ravaged Elk River communities of northern Kanawha County are being urged to attend a special Kanawha County Board of Education meeting scheduled for Wednesday evening at Elkview Middle School.

The board will discuss the impact of the June 23 on the county’s schools and the plans for the future.

The Herbert Hoover basketball gym sustained major damage in the July 23 flood.
“Everyone should come. This is for the whole community and it’s vital for the community because the community is the school,” board member Pete Thaw said.

Fellow board member Ryan White said the board is going to outline the plans its has for the schools.

“It’s very important for the community to be there so they can listen and get the reasoning behind what we’re doing,” White said.

The state Board of Education has already approved an instructional time waiver for students at Herbert Hoover High and Elkview Middle schools. They will begin the school year Aug. 8 splitting time in the Elkview building while portable classrooms are constructed for Hoover on the Elkview Middle football field.

Most of the interest Wednesday night will likely be centered on the future of the Herbert Hoover building which FEMA assessed to have sustained more than 70 percent damage in the flood.

“You’ll get the facts from the Board of Education,” Thaw said. “Every question will be answered. We’re not going to leave until every question is answered.”

Kanawha County School Superintendent Ron Duerring and staff have been working non-stop on the situation since shortly after the flood, White said.

“It’s definitely the number one priority. They’re on top of it and I’m very proud of what they’ve been able to do,” White said.

Hoover sustained the most damage. Clendenin Elementary was also damaged by the high water. There was also water in Elkview Middle and Bridge Elementary schools but both buildings have been largely cleaned up.

Wednesday’s meeting begins at 6 p.m.