Monroe County requests SBA funds for school consolidation project

By Carrie Hodousek in News

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A consolidation of Peterstown Elementary and Peterstown Middle in Monroe County is among a number of school construction proposals before the state School Building Authority.

Joetta Basile, superintendent of Monroe County Schools, was in Charleston Tuesday morning to present the county’s plan and request a reserve grant in the amount of $500,000 for the development of a new Peterstown PK-8 School.

Constructing a new school means the existing middle and elementary schools will close. Basile said this is a necessary project for the county because both schools are aging.

“The middle school was built in 1950 and the elementary school was built in 1962 and so both buildings have a lot of issues. They need new roofs, new windows. We just have a lot of things they need,” Basile said before her presentation at the West Virginia Lottery Building.

The county will attempt to pass a $10 million local bond issue. Basile said they plan to request $12 million from the SBA next year to continue the project. In total, the project would cost more than $24 million.

The project would affect 750 students and would impact student travel time. The county would save more than $246,000 annually and numerous health and safety issues would be addressed, according to the proposal.

Basile said she has seen tremendous support for the consolidation.

“Our community is very supportive of this school and understands the need for the children for a new school,” she said. “We have a lot of support, a lot of momentum, I feel like, going forward with this project.”

On Monday, the SBA heard proposals from Hardy, Morgan, Berkeley, Ohio, Tyler and Greenbrier counties.

The following counties are scheduled to present their plans Tuesday: Cabell, Clay, Wood, Calhoun, Mercer, Monroe, Taylor, Monongalia, Pleasants, Preston, Pocahontas, Mason and Fayette.

Funding decisions will be made at the SBA’s meeting scheduled for Dec. 11.