One of the projects will provide $234,950 to the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind for a new roof, parapet repair, gutter replacement, sprinkler installation and the replacement of four HVAC units for part of the aging facilities.
According to SBA Director Mark Manchin, the school, which will need more funding to remedy all of its existing problems, will have to figure out how to secure partial funding from another party for the larger project before the SBA can consider funding it.
"We're going to be watching very closely for participation from the West Virginia Legislature, as well as the state Board of Education," he said. "The authority does have the funds and may decide to appropriate them, but we want to see participation at the state level from people who directly have responsibility for the Schools for the Deaf and Blind."
The school is state-run and governed by the state Board of Education, but the state board does not have the authority to run a bond or levy on the school's behalf.
Hampshire County also cannot run a bond or levy, but Manchin said the SBA is reviewing whether it may be possible for the city of Romney, where the school is located, to use its bonding capacity to help the schools through the "home rule" law, which allows municipalities to run bonds for specific projects.
The Legislature is the more obvious source of funding, Manchin said, but a looming $300 million deficit may factor into the decision.
"I think the Legislature has let that school down," said SBA and state school board member Bill White, who added that the maintenance of the facility is atrocious. "You have HVAC problems, and some buildings are cordoned off because they're that unsafe. We can't put our blind and deaf students at risk like that."
Grant County will receive $239,498 for the replacement of fire alarms and gymnasium floor for its Union Education Complex. Harrison County will receive $1 million for a six-classroom addition and kitchen renovation to Simpson Elementary School. Marshall County will receive $831,541 for HVAC, ADA, window and door renovations for Glen Dale Elementary School. Mason County will receive $614,880 for countywide HVAC and control system replacement.
Mercer County will receive $655,033 to replace the boiler at Bluefield High School. Monroe County will receive $110,000 to renovate the lighting at James Monroe High School. Morgan County will receive $121,605 to renovate the HVAC system at Pleasant View Elementary School. Raleigh County will receive $1 million for the renovation of the HVAC system at Beckley-Stratton Middle School. Ritchie County will receive $226,800 to replace the cooling tower at Ritchie County Middle School.
In addition to the Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, the SBA also approved 3 percent projects for the following facilities: the Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center, the Fred W. Eberle Technical Center, the Roane-Jackson Technical Center, the James Rumsey Technical Institute, United Technical Center and the Burlington Center School.
For a full list and description of projects funded at Monday's meeting, visit www.wvs.state.wv.us/wvsba.
Reach Lydia Nuzum at lydia.nu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5189.