CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Sometimes you win approval, sometimes you don’t. Wayne County was the big winner Monday when the state School Building Authority met to divvy up $43 million in SBA funding.
The authority made Wayne County its top priority this funding cycle, awarding the county $8 million this year and another $10 million next year. That will go toward two new schools, one in Crum, the other in the Ceredo-Kenova area, plus renovations to Wayne County High School.
Wayne County Superintendent Lynn Hurt said she’s not worried about the two-year deal.
“We’re just glad to get the total 18 million dollars. That’s what we came for. That’s what we asked our voters to match,” Hurt said.
The money from the SBA doesn’t come without a hitch and it’s a big one. Wayne County voters will go to the polls May 13 and decide whether to support an $18 million bond issue.
Hurt said, “I feel confident!”
History hasn’t been kind to the school system. Wayne County has received SBA funding twice before, only to have it taken back when voters failed to pass a bond. This time she said, it’s do or die.
“If we don’t get a ‘yes’ vote, we’ll have to regroup, probably consolidate some schools, close some schools,” she said. “Hard decisions, hard decisions to make.”
On the other end of the funding spectrum was Kanawha County. Superintendent Ron Duerring requested $2 million to get rid of the portable classrooms at Andrews Heights Elementary in Tornado. Kanawha made it through the first round but was cut in the final funding process.
“We got on the board, yet we got taken off through the process. I wish we would have stayed on the board for funding. We really could have used it…but that’s the way it goes,” said the superintendent.
As for funding the project entirely with county cash, Duerring said it’s not going to happen.
“We can’t do it without SBA’s help.”
Other school systems to receive SBA funding Monday included: $5.3 million for Ohio County, $8.6 million for Monongalia County, $380,000 for Doddridge County, $100,000 for Brooke County, $12.2 million for Gilmer County and $8.6million for Mingo County.