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South Hills parents to meet on expanding John Adams Middle

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- South Hills-area parents will meet Wednesday to discuss ways to raise the additional funding needed for an expansion to John Adams Middle School in an attempt to address overcrowding.

In December, the West Virginia School Building Authority awarded $750,000 to help build an addition that would create four more classrooms for the school, which has the highest enrollment of any middle school in the county and has had to use several portable classrooms over the years to house students.

The Kanawha County Board of Education estimates that the project will cost about $1.1 million to finish but was denied the full amount by the SBA, forcing the county to come up with the rest of the funding. The school board has pledged to fund up to 11 percent of the project.

"What we're doing is trying to involve all of the South Hills schools -- it's not just one neighborhood or one school's problem," said Natalie Laliberty, principal at Ruthlawn Elementary.

Ruthlawn parents are leading the initiative, with plans to form a nonprofit organization to raise money for the addition.

The group will meet today at 6:30 p.m. at The Ridges clubhouse in South Charleston to discuss fundraising ideas.

"Everyone is trying to be proactive," Laliberty said.

Parents have been vocal about the need to address overcrowding at George Washington High School, John Adams Middle and the surrounding elementary schools, such as Alum Creek, Overbrook and Kenna.

Many parents have asked the Board of Education to avoid redistricting attendance zones in the area, which has been one of the proposals offered to remedy the problem.

Next Thursday, the board will again address redistricting during a regular meeting at 6 p.m.

Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.mays@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.


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