SUGAR GROVE, W.Va. — A Midwest-based non-profit group believes it could turn the former Sugar Grove Naval Station in West Virginia into a one of a kind training facility for children from foster care.
Kansas City-based KVC Health Systems plans to submit a proposal to the General Services Administration in hopes of acquiring the Pendleton County facility once the Navy vacates the grounds next year.
“KVC would like to take that property and transform it into a specialized career college to address a national problem in the transitioning for foster care children,” said Charleston attorney Tommy Bailey who represents KVC.
Bailey said currently less than two percent of foster care children wind up going on to college or post high school training. He said their situation leaves them with a poor support network to create a college-going environment.
“We’re not talking about young people who can go home for Christmas break or go home for the summer,” said Bailey. “They would require some sort of robust support network.”
KVC believes the facility at Sugar Grove will offer the exact environment they are looking for.
“You know when you visit, it looks like a college campus,” said Bailey. “They see this, potentially, as a national model. It’s beautiful, it’s regionally located, and much of the infrastructure they would want is already there.”
KVC plans to make application for the property to the General Services Administration, but Bailey said they are aware there are others interested in the property as well. The most conspicuous is the West Virginia Division of Corrections which is seeking to create a prison on the isolated property.
“We understand the state wants to address issues in corrections,” said Bailey. “We hope the proposal we put forward to the GSA is looked at for what it does socially, the economic impact it will make in the community and drawing some attention to this issue.”