6:00: Morning News

School systems seek portion of $51M available from SBA

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Thirty county school superintendents will make their pitches before the state School Building Authority Monday and Tuesday in hopes of getting part of the $51.4 million available in Needs Grant funding for school construction projects.

The SBA will hear from the 14 superintendents Monday and 16 Tuesday. Some of the presentations will be made virtually. The superintendents are given 10 minutes each.

The SBA staff has already reviewed all of the projects and provided comments for SBA members to review.

“There’s a lot of facilities out there that are just old and in need of replacement,” SBA Director of Architectural Services Ben Ashley told MetroNews last month. “Many of them have gotten to the point where it’s just not worth sinking a whole bunch of money into fixing them up.”

Kanawha County School Superintendent Tom Williams
Tom Williams

Kanawha County School Superintendent Tom Williams is first on the schedule Monday morning. Williams is seeking more than $8 million for plans to transition Cedar Grove Middle School into Cedar Grove Elementary. The county has more than $2 million in local funding for the project.

Monroe County School Superintendent Joetta Basile is seeking just more than $1.1 million for a roof replacement at James Monroe High School and some roof drainage work at Mountain View School.

A Monday afternoon presentation from Jefferson County Superintendent Bondy Gibson will seek $7.5 million from the SBA to combine with $32 million in local funding to build new elementary schools in Shepherdstown and Ranson. The projects will impact nearly 800 students.

Tuesday’s presentations will begin with Summers County Superintendent David Warvel. His county is asking for $8.1 million for addition and renovations at Summers County High School. Plans are to create additional space for Summers Middle School which moved into the high school building last fall.

Summers County has no local matching funds for the project.

Work on the former Alderson Middle/High School building will be the focus of Greenbrier County School Superintendent Jeffrey Bryant’s presentation Tuesday morning. He’s requesting $8 million from the SBA to turn the Alderson Community Center into the new Alderson Elementary School.

Greenbrier County has $3 million in local funding to contribute to the project.

Patrick Murphy

Berkeley County Superintendent Patrick Murphy will be the final presenter Tuesday and he’ll do so virtually.

Berkeley County is seeking nearly $2.7 million from the SBA to create 14 safe school entrances in the county. Berkeley County has another $2.7 million as a local contribution for the project.

Ashley said the projects submitted from the 30 counties are all needed projects but there will be several not chosen for funding.

“Fortunately for the taxpayers it makes sure that we are funding really good projects from counties that are working at becoming efficient both operationally and facility-wise,” Ashley said.

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