CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Ground could be broken this fall on new schools in Nicholas County.

Nicholas County Schools Superintendent Donna Burge-Tetrick spoke last week to the state Board of Education about the timeline for new institutions to replace schools destroyed in the June 2016 flood.

“Nicholas County should have full approval for the drawdown money, the FEMA money by the first of November of this year,” she said. “I am hopeful we are able to break ground the following day for both sites and have two schools for our students in the fall of 2023.”

Schools are planned to be built in Richwood and the Summersville area; Richwood middle and high schools will be built on the Cherry River Elementary School campus. Summersville Middle School will be combined with Nicholas County High School and the Nicholas County Career and Technical Center for a new school at the Glade Creek Business Park.

Burge-Tetrick said the environmental assessments for the new middle and high schools are done, and FEMA is conducting a 30-day environmental assessment through Aug. 4. A public meeting will be held Wednesday between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Cherry River Elementary.

She added the combined Summersville campus is “not as far along as the Richwood schools, but it’s close.” FEMA will establish a public comment period regarding environmental concerns with the sites.

“I’m hopeful we are able to break ground in November,” she said.