CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Kanawha County school officials were unsuccessful Monday in their attempt to secure state money to deal with mold problems at South Charleston Middle School.
The West Virginia School Building Authority, however, awarded nine other counties with grant money during a meeting Monday. Authority members considered Major Improvement Project proposals from 24 counties.
Each year, the authority awards individual MIP grants of up to $1 million for structural and safety renovations across the state. This year, Grant, Harrison, Marshall, Mason, Mercer, Monroe, Morgan, Raleigh and Ritchie counties received a total of $4,799,357 from the SBA.
After parents and students from South Charleston Middle came forward with mold complaints in September, Kanawha County school board officials decided to apply for the state funding. Tests conducted in October found high levels of mold in a girls' restroom at the school.
The county had requested money to replace the HVAC system in the school's gymnasium and auditorium, as well as an electrical main service upgrade. That funding project did not include other necessary improvements to the school, which SBA staff noted "would be better addressed by a larger, more comprehensive project."
Those include a buildingwide HVAC system, roof replacement, ADA accessibility upgrades and lighting and technology upgrades.
Plans are in the works for the school to receive a new roof, Kanawha County Schools Superintendent Ron Duerring told the Gazette in September.
Also Monday, Lincoln County's proposal was part of the original funding list, but was dropped for another project after board members noted that the county's school board failed to provide requested information to the SBA.
Lincoln school officials wanted money for window replacement and asbestos caulking abatement for two of its elementary schools but failed to provide an architect's estimate, instead choosing to submit an estimate from a window supplier that did not include "soft costs."
"It did not include architectural and engineering fees or soft costs," said Scott Raines, SBA director of architectural services. "We requested that information from the county, but they didn't feel like they need to have architectural or engineering input at all."
The SBA also approved seven "3 percent projects" which are regional or statewide in scope, in the amount of $2,414,133.