Raleigh County will be getting a new Stratton Elementary after all, replacing what state School Building Authority staff said is a circa-1939 building that’s nearly impossible to adequately renovate.
The Authority’s board, which gives tens of millions of dollars annually to county school systems for school construction and renovation projects, voted Thursday to provide about $8.9 million for the project. The county promised to pitch in $7 million.
The new school will have solar panels and a geothermal heating, ventilation and air conditioning system that should make the school generate as much power as it uses, according to Authority staff.
The current school, which had 236 students last fall, was built as a high school. Authority staff said its shortcomings include, among other things, inaccessibility to those with disabilities.
The Authority’s board votes to disburse the lion’s share of its annual funding each December.
County school systems compete to convince the board that they deserve funding from an ever-limited pot of money, and this past December the board picked other projects instead of the new Stratton.
But Authority Chief Financial Officer Sue Chapman said at the time that, due to the Authority being ahead of schedule in paying back interest-free loans it previously received to fund school construction, more money might soon become available.
Chapman said Thursday that funding had materialized, and it would more than pay for the new elementary school.
Also Thursday, the board voted to reclaim $3.4 million it previously gave Monroe County because Authority staff said bids came in significantly lower than expected on the Peterstown prekindergarten-eighth grade school. The board had earlier promised that project over $20 million.
The board then voted Thursday to pay $3.1 million for roof replacement at Keyser Middle, in Mineral County in the Eastern Panhandle.
All votes Thursday were voice votes with no nays heard.