CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Mark Manchin plans to leave his position as executive director of the West Virginia School Building Authority to become the next superintendent of Harrison County Schools.In his role as SBA director over the past seven years, Manchin, cousin of Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he has doled out nearly $1 billion for school construction projects across the state.He plans to take over at Harrison County in early June, saying he still has commitments at the SBA -- including the spring round of school "needs" projects coming up in March."We still have to do what the governor has approved us to do. ... We still have $55 million worth of bonds yet to sell," he said. "So, certainly, over the next couple of months, we'll be working with the Legislature and counties around the state who want to build new schools. I feel committed to doing that.
"I've enjoyed my time here. We've built safer schools, greener schools -- schools of the future. This is a good job. You get to travel around the state and hand out money," Manchin said.
But, Manchin said, it's time to get back to local school administration. He has served as superintendent in both McDowell and Webster county districts, and prior to that, worked as a teacher.The Marion County native said that part of the state is "very near and dear to him," and he has family in the area."I spent most of my youth and early years in Harrison County. So, it's a great opportunity, as I see it," he said. "I think it's time to get back to where I started in education."The Harrison County Board of Education is expected to officially vote on the decision on Wednesday.Manchin said it's too soon to make a recommendation for his replacement at the SBA but said that Scott Raines, chief of architectural services, is currently "No. 2."Reach Mackenzie Mays at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-4814.