3:00pm: Hotline with Dave Weekley

Schools for Deaf and Blind to stay put

ROMNEY, W.Va. — The West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind, the only educational site of its kind in the Mountain State, will stay in Hampshire County.

On Thursday, the state Board of Education approved a resolution that will keep the facility where it is in Romney.

“We’re just elated,” said Romney Mayor Dan Hileman of the news.  “The state school board has made the right decision and they’ve taken the right approach.”

Board members, who visited the Schools for the Deaf and Blind last month, cited the important roles the Hampshire County facility plays in the education of its students and, also, in Romney’s economy as reasons for the decision to invest in the existing buildings instead of building a new campus elsewhere, possibly in a more centralized part of West Virginia.

The state School Building Authority has estimated it will cost almost $100 million to make needed large scale renovations at the Romney schools, where some of the buildings are decades old.  That is not much less than the projected cost of an entirely new facility for students who have special needs.

“That population deserves a good education and, I think, this is not only a good site, but the best site,” said Hileman.  “It offers so many opportunities here to reinvent the school into a more effective, more efficient facility and also provide the level of education for the student population.”

The Schools for the Deaf and Blind have been located in Romney since the 1870s.  “It’s just a lovely campus.  It offers so much and it has a history throughout this state,” Hileman told MetroNews.





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