Last month, Kanawha school officials had asked for more than $1.9 million to add classrooms and kitchen space to help relieve cramped conditions at Andrews Heights Elementary School in Tornado.
Kanawha school officials wanted to couple the SBA funds with $646,000 in local funds to add six general education classrooms, update the school's electrical system and add a pre-kindergarten program.
Fayette County had asked for $14 million to create a consolidated high school that would combine about 800 students from Fayetteville High School, Midland Trail High School and Meadow Bridge High School.
The issue of school consolidations has been contentious in the community, making full public support a difficult issue, said Ron Cantley, director of operations for Fayette County Schools.
The county has grappled for years with the often-controversial issue of school consolidations. Administrators see consolidations as ways to plug serious budget deficits. Some community members see school closings as uprooting community anchors.
"We're in a Catch-22 situation," said Cantley.
Manchin said community buy-in is a big part of the SBA's decision to award funds.
"The community in Fayette seems fractured," said Manchin. "I'd encourage the superintendent to come up with a project that has broad-based support among the community."
Reach Amy Julia Harris at amy.har...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.