CHARLESTON, W.Va.¬†—¬†Members of the state School Building Authority’s Finance Committee have been working on ways to possibly stretch the $45 million the agency has for projects submitted by more than two dozen county school systems.

SBA

Ben Ashley

The full SBA meets Monday to decide which counties will receive this year’s NEEDs grants.

Representatives from 27 counties made their pitches to the SBA in late October. The projects total $135 million but the SBA only has $45 million to spend this cycle. Ben Ashley, SBA’s director of architectural services, said the finance committee hopes to increase that number.

“Maybe do some different, creative things with our finance plans. We’re hoping to take the $135 million in requests and maybe get a few more projects with some different ideas,” Ashley said.

Most of the counties that made presentations six weeks ago were seeking money for additions, renovations and maintenance projects. Only two counties are seeking funding for new schools.

Fayette County School Superintendent Terry George asked the SBA for more than $13 million for renovations at four schools including Fayetteville PK-8, Valley PK-8, Midland Trail High School and Oak Hill High School. The county has $2 million in local funds to go with its request.

The presentation from Ohio County Superintendent Kimberly Miller included plans for renovations to Triadelphia and Bridge Street middle schools for a total of $9 million. Ohio County’s local match is $2.7 million.

Harrison County Superintendent Mark Manchin presented a plan to create Gore Elementary School at the current United High School building in Clarksburg. Manchin asked for $5.8 million in SBA funding. Students from Adamston and Wilsonburg elementary schools will combine to form the new school. Harrison County also has a $2 million local match.

Ashley said the SBA staff will have its recommendations for the full authority at Monday’s meeting and members will decide which projects to fund based on nine criteria including health and safety, education innovation and impact on maintenance.

“Based on those recommendations the authority members will deliberate, nominate and choose projects and ultimately, based on the amount of money they have, they will pick the number of projects they can award,” Ashley said.

The SBA meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. Monday at state Lottery headquarters in Charleston.

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