CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The state School Building Authority approved final funding Thursday for a 10-year, five-school deal, in McDowell County.

In 2004, the SBA set aside $100-million as part of a long-term school system improvement plan with the federal government and U.S. Army Corp of Engineers that went toward construction of much needed, new buildings.

“We built a new Riverview High School. We built a new Bradshaw Elementary, a new Southside Middle School, a new War Elementary and the fifth school is a new Iaeger Elementary,” explained SBA Executive Director Mark Manchin.

McDowell County was under state control at the time the deal was struck. One of the main concerns of the state Board of Education was the condition of McDowell County school buildings which were old and in some cases falling apart.

Manchin said by using the $100-million wisely they’ve been able to build four new schools and are ready to start construction on the Iaeger project next week.

Because 10 years have passed, the new Iaeger Elementary is going to cost a little bit more than they planned for in 2004.

“That simply reflects inflation as well as some additional square footage and some safety that we now require in every school built in the state of West Virginia,” according to Manchin.

That money was not taken out of the current SBA fund. Manchin said the members knew back in 2008 this last project was going to need a few million in extra cash, so they planned ahead.

“If there was any excess money left over from any of our projects when they expired, we simply captured that money, left it in the construction fund in anticipation of this day,” said Manchin.

Since 2008, the SBA has put aside $8 million in that fund. $7.05 million goes toward Iaeger Elementary.

Manchin stressed they made a commitment a decade ago to McDowell County and the SBA has now come through with that promise.

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  • frank canellas

    Well its about time those kids from I eager get the new school that they deserve just like Bradshaw and war got there's and south side great job McDowell county wva.

  • frank canellas

    Well I'm very happy that I eager is getting them a new school there they need one way to go McDowell wva proud to see u getting a school for the kids.

  • Chris

    Does anyone know how many children attend school in McDowell County?

  • James Lane

    Half of Iager Elementary's parking lot just fell into the Tug River. Literally. The building is next How could anyone object to a new school?

  • wvu999

    I have been in a lot of schools and iaeger is pretty bad. Preston county as a whole is pitiful. The kids there are not afforded the same facilities as other students in the state. Criminal to send those students to those schools.

  • John

    WOW! SBA replaced Williamson High 1977, Matewan High, 1977, Gilbert High 1981, and Burch High 1986 in Mingo with a new 30 million dollar school while we have students attending schools built 100 years ago? This doesn't say much for the intelligence of the legislature, Governor, and the people who are in charge of the SBA! Note: the school in Mingo wasn't wanted by the majority of the people.

  • mntnman

    Rewarding failure. Do a bad job, take poor care of what you have and the state will come and and spend $100 million to fix things.

    We have a 100 year old school building, used daily. Its is in great shape, well tended and still useful. It would be nice to replace, but there are greater needs here. Even our worst building is well tended and safe.

    So while I think the spending was necessary for the welfare and safety of the children in McDowell, nonetheless it is ultimately a reward for failure.

  • MyView

    Five new schools in McDowell all that where much needed. But the SBA seems to have forgotten a lot of other counties in WV. I know of one school building that is not fit for animals and is used everyday to educate children.

    • Bitmapped

      A lot of the funding for the new McDowell schools came from federal money for floodproofing.

    • Kory

      I have done work in about every school in the state. Which school are you referring to? I'd be willing to bet the school you're talking about does not come close to the conditions the schools in McDowell county were in. Berwind, Big Creek, War, Bradshaw and Iaeger were in terrible condition, borderline dangerous to even walk in. I agree there are a lot of schools that need replaced but they had to make those schools a priority. I'm not sure how they were even standing.

      • frank canellas

        Well I went to school at meager high and Bradshaw Jr high and they were still in good shape and big creek was not that bad I believe they should have built two schools and used the rest of money helping people get jobs to get them off welfare and become free of being in poverty and earn there money instead of waiting every month on a check from the welfare office or ssi. Put some company's in the are a so they can go to work help the good people. With jobs.