CHARLESTON, W.Va.¬†—¬†State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Paine says the Nicholas County Board of Education will have a lot decisions to make in the months to come in connection with the construction of several new schools.

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Steve Paine

Those decisions aren’t the responsibility of the state Board of Education, Paine said Tuesday during an appearance on MetroNews “Talkline.”

“The state Board was not and is not charged with coming up with all of the very, very specific details of this proposal. We just needed to be assured that a viable middle school/high school to replace the middle school/high school that were lost in the flood are going to be in the Richwood area,” Paine said.

The mediation team that has been working on a proposal for schools following the June 2016 flood released its plan Monday. It will be voted on next week by the Nicholas County Board of Education, state Board of Education and state School Building Authority.

The plan includes building a new middle school and high school in the Richwood area, a new Nicholas County high school and middle school along with a career and technical education center closer to Summersville.

If the plan is approved, there will be many other decisions the local school board will have to make, Paine said.

“We’ve not wanted to micro-manage that. From the get go all we’ve said is that we wanted the assurance that there would be a middle school and high school in the Richwood area.

The Nicholas County BOE originally voted for a consolidated high school but the proposal was rejected by the state School Board. The issue went to court and the state won. A mediation process initiated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which will fund the school construction projects, began a few months ago.

There’s been concern expressed by some Richwood area residents about not having a technical education center closer to Richwood. Paine said there may be an answer for that.

“Some of the options we discussed include some career technical education courses at Richwood High School. I think that’s up to the (local) board and the community to figure out what those areas are,” Paine said.

The Nicholas County Board of Education will consider the mediation panel-backed school construction plan at its meeting May 7, which will include a vote. The state Board of Education will consider the plan on May 9. The state School Building Authority will meet May 10 to decide on the proposal.

The June 2016 flood destroyed Richwood High School and middle school along with Summersville Middle School.

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