WINFIELD, W.Va. -- Putnam and Mason County schools have chosen not to go forward with a joint school project that would have combined Leon and Buffalo elementary schools.
"My understanding is that [Mason County] called a special meeting and had some people from the school district or area speak against it," said Putnam Superintendent Chuck Hatfield. "They decided not to do it right now."
The joint school would have cost an estimated $13 million. The cost of rebuilding both schools was an estimated $25 million, and the two projects individually did not meet the economies of scale the School Building Authority looks for in its projects.
SBA director Mark Manchin told the Putnam board earlier this year that a potential plan would need to be drafted by December, and both boards and their county superintendents were present for a regular Putnam County Board of Education meeting in Winfield on Oct. 21.
"If they're not on board, they're not on board," Hatfield said.
Leon Elementary has roughly 150 students and is seven miles from the Putnam County line, while Buffalo Elementary has about 250 students and is three miles from Mason County. The SBA has denied funding to renovate Leon Elementary in previous years, but Putnam officials have never asked the agency for funding for Buffalo, according to Hatfield.
"It's an older building. It's a 1950s building, and it certainly could use some improvements, but it's certainly not in dire need," he said. "We've done some things, and we'll continue to improve it. We've put new tile down. We've installed new ceiling tile and different things."