The superintendent of Nicholas County (W.Va.) Schools says that that three of the county’s schools damaged by floods earlier this summer won’t be able to reopen their buildings in time for the Aug. 19 start of classes and that she doesn’t know if they can be reopened at all.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that Summersville Middle, Richwood Middle and Richwood High may have sustained too much damage to be repaired. Officials say that under National Flood Insurance Program rules, if a building is damaged greater than 50 percent of its appraised value, any repair or replacement has to be up to current codes. That would substantially raise the cost to repair the schools.
Superintendent Donna Burge-Tetrick says she’s still awaiting reports from the Federal Emergency Management Agency on damage assessments for the three schools.
Although the school facilities won't be available, Burge-Tetrick wants to begin classes on schedule. She is considering portable classrooms and having the affected schools share campuses with other schools.
Burge-Tetrick says engineers have determined that Richwood Middle has $1 million to $1.5 million in structural damage and that Summersville Middle has more than $500,000 in structural damage. The schools also sustained losses to building contents.Two classrooms at each school have been deemed unsafe for students.