Flooding in June 2016 heavily damaged Clendenin Elementary School

West Virginia district wants to replace 2 flood-damaged elementary schools with 1 consolidated campus

Jan. 24, 2017
Consolidated campus would be built in Kanawha County to replace schools heavily damaged in flooding last year.

Officials in the Kanawha County (W.Va.) district are recommending consolidation of two elementary schools whose campuses were seriously damaged last year by flooding.

WSAZ-TV reports that the plan, which needs school board approval, would put students from Clendenin Elementary School and Bridge Elementary School under one roof in an newly constructed building on a site midway between the two schools.

Superintendent Ron Duerring says Clendenin Elementary, which was destroyed in the flooding, was built to house nearly 700 students, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will pay for a replacement school of comparable size. That will be large enough to house students from both schools.

Clendenin Elementary, which was destroyed in the flooding, cannot be rebuilt near the area that flooded. Bridge Elementary, which was damaged but salvaged for elementary students for use this school year, will not be able to use FEMA funding to replace its destroyed playground. Considering all factors, Duerring and other school leaders have concluded consolidation is the best option.

"None of us on this board or any of the administration wanted this to happen, but it's a situation we have to deal with," says School Board President Jim Crawford. "Sometimes it's unpleasant, but we're tying to make the best outcome out of this."

A site for the new building has not been finalized yet. But, school officials say, their top choice is a tract about halfway between Elkview and Clendenin.

During a community question-and-answer session, school officials admitted having one school instead of two could mean staff cuts. They say they have not yet outlined details about what positions they would and would not need.

As for plans for rebuilding Herbert Hoover High School, which also was destroyed in flooding, officials say they are still trying to finalize a location for a new high school.

Video from WSAZ-TV:

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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