Richwood Middle temporarily moves to speed up construction after 2016 flooding

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 6:55 PM EDT
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NICHOLAS COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Since flooding destroyed Richwood Middle School in 2016, sixth, seventh and eighth grade students have been going to class in 20 pods on the Cherry River Elementary school campus.

That’s the location where they will eventually attend school, but the school board voted Friday to move middle school students to Richwood High School until construction is complete.

Superintendent Dr. Donna Burge-Tetrick said the move will speed up the overall construction process.

“When our construction manager and our architect approached me with the option to expedite the process much quicker, I thought that was definitely something to look into,” Burge-Tetrick said.

The superintendent says enrollment at both schools has gone down, which means there’s enough space at the high school for middle school students to have their own part of the building.

Ashley Adkins’ son will be in sixth grade next year. She’s happy to know he will not go to class in the pods.

“As long as the kids are able to blend in and still have their time together in their groups, I think they will be fine,” Adkins said. “I want for my child to be in a classroom, but I would also like to take the time to make sure they have the proper structure.”

The current elementary school is being renovated to become a community school for students pre-k through 12th grade.

The move means the pods will be removed to open up the space to work on drainage issues around the school and parking lot.

‘We realized if we moved the students now we could expedite the process by a year,” said Burge-Tetrick.

The superintendent said the project was originally going to take three years. Now it’s expected to take about two years, and that’s when students will return to the Cherry River Elementary campus.

Click the links for previous coverage on the 2016 floods in Nicholas County and the school projects.

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