Try, try, try and try again. That’s the motto of Boone County School Superintendent John Hudson who once again went before the state School Building Authority Tuesday asking for funding for a much needed project in his county.
“This is our fourth time appearing before the state School Building Authority,” explained Hudson. “I have high hopes each time and I think this time we’re getting a little bit closer.”
Boone County needs $1.9 million from the SBA. The county has $500,000 to put toward their project at Sherman Jr/Sr. High which focus on health and safety. They’d like a secure entryway, a new sprinkler system and sewage treatment facility. But the most important item in their proposal involves school buses.
“Our bus loading and unloading runs right along Route 3, a heavily coal traffic route,” Hudson said. “We want to alleviate that by adding a bus loop.”
The SBA has just $42 million to hand out this cycle. Boone County is one of 20 hoping to get a part of that money.
Kanawha County also went before the SBA Tuesday asking for money to expand Andrews Heights Elementary in Tornado. Superintendent Ron Duerring explained there’s a need to get kids out of portable classrooms.
“[We need] six new classrooms which will allow us to bring those children back into the building in a safer, healthier environment,” says Duerring.
Kanawha County has $650,000 to put towards the project but they need $1.9-million from the SBA. Duerring sounds confident they’ll get their money.
“I think our project meets all the requirements. We put our 25-percent in. It’s for health and safety reasons. That’s [the SBA's] top two priorities. And it also removes all the portables which is one objective of this School Building Authority,” explained Duerring.
On Monday, the SBA heard from 11 school systems. Jackson County is asking for the most money, $15-million for a new Ravenswood Middle School. Wetzel County is asking for the least, $670,000 for new windows at four elementary schools. Four school systems don’t have any matching money to go towards their projects.
The SBA will make their final funding decisions next month.