FEMA ready with funding for new Herbert Hoover High School

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Joe Manchin, Shelley Moore Capito and Gov. Jim Justice announced Friday more than $52 million from Federal Emergency Management Agency will be used to rebuild Herbert Hoover High School in Kanawha County.

Hoover’s old building was destroyed in the June 2016 flood.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.

“I am thankful FEMA is finally giving West Virginia the funds we need to rebuild Herbert Hoover High School. After the terrible flooding that ravaged West Virginia and killed 23 people, we came together as a state and helped each other rebuild. It was incredible to see the strength of West Virginians and the compassion they held for each other. I have continually worked with both FEMA and the Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure school rebuilds across West Virginia remain a priority,” Senator Manchin said in a Friday news release. “This has included working collaboratively with FEMA Region III Administrator MaryAnn Tierney, Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, and local officials including Kanawha County Superintendent Dr. Ron Duerring. This funding will help the Elkview community feel whole again and will get our kids back into their school so that they have the best possible learning environment. I look forward to seeing the new Herbert Hoover High School and will continue to help the other schools in West Virginia receive their funding to rebuild and recover from the 2016 flood,”

“Since the flood in 2016, I’ve been working closely with FEMA Region III and local government and school officials to make sure we rebuild Herbert Hoover as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Senator Capito said. “As chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds FEMA, I’ve worked to prioritize this project and facilitate better relations between federal and local stakeholders. With clean up and multiple environmental assessments to clear, the process has been painstaking, but today’s news is the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m so glad we’ve made it to this point, and I can’t wait for construction of the new Herbert Hoover to get underway!”

Shelley Moore Capito

MetroNews reported last month that FEMA had given the go-ahead on the project following an environmental assessment. All that was needed was the okay by Congress.

State School Building Authority Director of Architectural Services Ben Ashley said last month the review was very extensive.

“All the laws and applicable federal codes that relate to environmental protection, wetland protection, natural resources, plants and wildlife, they’ve met all of the acceptable measures to clear the site so we can build a school on that site,” Ashley said. “It was a lengthy process. That’s a huge, huge step to overcome. We’re glad we’re to this point.”

Kanawha County Schools paid more than $3 million for the proposed site earlier this year. It’s 246 acres in the Givens Fork area. The land was previously owned by Elkview Baptist Church. It’s not far from the Elkview exit of Interstate 79.