"When you start getting into refurbishing old buildings, it becomes cost-prohibitive. Wiring alone would be $1 to $1.5 million," he said. "Now there are certain policies that are required any time we do any major renovations. We're not suggesting they can't do that, if that's what they want to do. It's just about using our money."
Manchin said the SBA will have $50 million to allocate to projects over the next two years, and receives $200 million in project requests each year, meaning competition is tough.
As part of the existing laws that govern multi-county vocational and technical schools, one county will be designated the "sending" county, which will technically be sending its students to another school district, and one will become the "receiving" county. Both counties would be part of a joint governing board for the school.
Hatfield said although he's unsure whose idea it was to create a combined school, he believes it will be important to explore the option before the authority's need application deadline, which is in December. The board plans to contact Mason County Schools this week to set up a meeting concerning the project.
"I think we need to have some sort of meeting with them immediately, because I don't know how far you want to move until the boards get together," said board member Jack Coyner. "A lot of things may be done in vain."
Buffalo Elementary has received routine renovations, but no major improvements in recent years. Hatfield said the school was constructed in the 1950s, but the school board will not consider closing it if the joint school plan were scrapped.
The board will accept applications to fill the seat vacated by board member Debbie Phillips, who resigned from the school board Sept. 30. Candidates from the county's District 3, which covers the Hurricane area, will not be eligible for the position due to state law that governs the structure of county school boards.
Reach Lydia Nuzum at lydia.nu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5189.