CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Kanawha County Board of Education is again asking for state funding to help renovate Andrews Heights Elementary in an attempt to "forever remove" four portable classrooms currently used at the Tornado school.
Kanawha County Superintendent Ron Duerring asked state School Building Authority officials Tuesday for more than $1.9 million to help build an addition to the school that would replace the existing outdoor portables with six permanent classrooms and expand the kitchen and cafeteria, as well as upgrade the computer lab.
"We've had environmental issues with the portables. We've put money in them trying to maintain them. Our goal is to provide a safe and healthy environment for all of our students," Duerring said. "We want to provide a better building and a better learning environment."
In 2011, environmental consultants found higher-than-normal levels of carbon dioxide and traces of mold in and underneath the school's portables.
This week, school superintendents from 20 counties asked the SBA for more than $159 million to build and repair schools, but authority officials will only award about $42 million next month.
This is the third time Kanawha County officials have requested help for an expansion of the Andrew Heights school. The county system would contribute about $650,000 in local funds for the project.
Suzanne Armstrong, principal at Andrews Heights, said getting rid of the portables is important amid post-Sandy Hook safety reform - and the portables hurt students' learning as well.