The West Virginia State School Building Authority (SBA) has chosen not to fund a $14 million request by Fayette County Schools to renovate and build an addition onto Midland Trail High School.

The project would have created a new regional high school for approximately 800 students from Fayetteville, Meadow Bridge and Midland Trail high schools.

“They just felt like they had other projects of greater need. We were nominated and considered but we didn’t make the final cut,” says Fayette County Director of Operations Ron Cantley.

At its meeting last Monday, the SBA discussed and prioritized 23 “Needs Projects” for 2012. WSAZ reports that Kanawha, Jackson, Boone, Cabell, Mingo and Fayette were all cut from the list.

“Our project got a fair hearing and there are needs all over the state that are very serious,” says Cantley.

“We know they are doing the best they can to meet those needs.”

Fayette’s plan, as it was outlined to the SBA, would have provided 20 classrooms, an expanded media center, gym, cafeteria, and “core spaces” to Midland Trail.

Other components of the plan included:

Changing Fayetteville High School to a middle school

Changing Fayetteville Elementary to a K-fifth grade school

Closing Gatewood Elementary and Ansted Elementary

Converting Ansted Middle to an elementary school

Converting Meadow Bridge High School and Meadow Bridge Elementary to a K-8 campus

Midland Trail was chosen as the site of the consolidated high school because it sits just off U.S.  60 and 19, according to the project proposal.

The county would have provided $1 million, or 7 percent of the project cost with the rest coming from the SBA.

Fayette County has two ongoing SBA-funded projects — an addition to Divide Elementary and a gym addition to Valley High.

Cantley says the school system has no specific backup plans to accomplish the project without SBA funds.

“We’re going to continue to try and find solutions that either the citizens or the state School Building Authority can support so we can take care of the students of Fayette County,” he says.

“We’ll just revisit the planning process and try to build consensus somewhere.”

—E-mail: cmoore@register-herald.com

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