State school board votes to consolidate two Fayette County elementary schools

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 5:53 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - It’s hard to imagine a shoveling coal to keep a school warm in the year 2021, but that is the reality at Ansted Elementary -- and just one of many issues.

“The issues we looked at were infiltration of water. We don’t have good HVAC systems, we don’t even have ventilation in the Ansted Elementary building,” said Fayette County Superintendent Gary Hough.

That is why the state school board Wednesday approved Fayette County’s consolidation plans.

The plans are to close Ansted and Divide elementary schools to put students and staff under one roof. The new campus for both schools would be at the Midland Trail campus.

“The reason we are closing schools is to provide a true vision for the future of our students in those areas to give them the most modern facilities,” Hough said.

It’s a vision Fayette County school officials have been working on to provide students with more resources. School officials say the school will focus on science, art, and green energy programs.

“Giving those students the opportunity to be tied into a high school campus, a central campus,” Hough said.

It will also remove the list of issues both Ansted and Divide currently face.

The board must go to the state School Building Authority to request money to pay for the new school they hope to have open in the fall 2023.

“Well you heard it during the closure statements. All were positive speakers there wasn’t one negative speaker,” Hough said.

School officials say it will cost between $15 million and $18 million to build the elementary school.

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