CHARLESTON, W.Va. – It’s time for West Virginia school systems to ask for a helping hand as the state School Building Authority prepares to hear from 19 counties looking to get a piece of school construction funds.
County school board presidents and superintendents will be in Charleston Monday and Tuesday seeking money for new school construction, major renovations and HVAC units.
“We give them 10 minutes to tell us about their projects, the worthiness of their projects and allow the authority to ask questions,” said SBA Executive Director Mark Manchin.
This year’s requests add up to $160 million, but the SBA has just $45 million to dole out.
“We have to say no (to some projects), and it’s basically saying no to children,” Manchin said.
Manchin stressed the agency must choose the highest priority projects and ask some counties to come back next year to re-pitch their projects.
“There’s not enough money to address everybody’s needs, but we’re going to do everything we can to address the most pressing needs,” said Manchin.
During the next month, SBA members will consider the requests before reconvening April 28 to distribute the funds. The SBA often helps counties who help themselves.
“We really encourage counties to participate and, where possible, ask the voters to partner with the School Building Authority and let’s build schools.”
Wayne and Brooke counties are floating bonds this year in hopes of receiving matching money from the SBA.