ROMNEY, W.Va. — The West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind, the only educational site of its kind in the Mountain State, will stay in Hampshire County.

On Thursday, the state Board of Education approved a resolution that will keep the facility where it is in Romney.

“We’re just elated,” said Romney Mayor Dan Hileman of the news.  “The state school board has made the right decision and they’ve taken the right approach.”

Board members, who visited the Schools for the Deaf and Blind last month, cited the important roles the Hampshire County facility plays in the education of its students and, also, in Romney’s economy as reasons for the decision to invest in the existing buildings instead of building a new campus elsewhere, possibly in a more centralized part of West Virginia.

The state School Building Authority has estimated it will cost almost $100 million to make needed large scale renovations at the Romney schools, where some of the buildings are decades old.  That is not much less than the projected cost of an entirely new facility for students who have special needs.

“That population deserves a good education and, I think, this is not only a good site, but the best site,” said Hileman.  “It offers so many opportunities here to reinvent the school into a more effective, more efficient facility and also provide the level of education for the student population.”

The Schools for the Deaf and Blind have been located in Romney since the 1870s.  “It’s just a lovely campus.  It offers so much and it has a history throughout this state,” Hileman told MetroNews.

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  • Larry

    Romney is a long way from anywhere.

  • Angie

    My in-laws attended Romney 55+ yrs ago. I agree it should remain where it is. What needs to happen now is a change to a new law that went into affect 10/1, requiring interpretors for the hearing impaired and deaf to take the certification test out of state in order to become ASL certified. That test should be administered here, at Romney in my opinion. There are only about 15 licensed (certified) sign language interpretors in this state because of the new law. If someone needs an interpretor for court, hospital, doctor's appointment, etc., it has to be a certified interpretor.

  • Woodchuck

    It has been mismanaged for years. A beautiful campus does not equal a great eduction. Personnel problems and over staffing has been terrible. No over site and the WV Bd of Ed has no clue.

    • Habib Haddad

      All true Woodchuck though I stand by my statement. Give the new Superintendent the time and resources to repair the deficiencies. The wake up call has been sounded.

  • Larry

    What about Cedar Lakes?, maybe they could put it there.

    • Habib Haddad

      The WV Schools for the Deaf and the Blind campus is perfect to replace Cedar Lakes, Larry. Be careful what you wish for.
      The correct decision for the students, the faculty, the town and the state.

  • Joe

    That is great news.

  • Debra

    As a former student of the school, I think that is the correct decision.