Multi-million dollar school unusable due to water pressure problem

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MARTIN, Ky. (WYMT) -- One city that has been hit hard by floods in recent years is the city of Martin in Floyd County.

Because of that, a plan called the Martin Revitalization Project was put in place about 15 years ago. The goal of the project is to relocate people and their homes, businesses, and government buildings out of the flood plain.

But a brand new school was completed last September is unusable because of a water pressure problem. The students who were set to attend the school are now having to attend classes at a high school that was previously closed.

The brand new Renaissance Learning Center cost about $13 million to build. Most of the funds for the project came from the federal government.

School officials hoped students would move into the building in October.

"The building was completed by September. But at that point, I think there was a realization made that the water pressure wouldn't support the anti-fire suppression system", said Danny Adkins, who is the Floyd County Superintendent.

And without the ability to get water to the emergency sprinklers inside, the superintendent had to make a decision about where to move the kids in the meantime. He says there were too many issues at their old school to wait.

"It was in really rough shape, actually we had some concerns with leaking roofs that we have tried to patch and tried to patch", said Adkins. "You don't want to put a lot of money into it when you have a brand new facility sitting there waiting."

Not only leaks, but Adkins says there were fears black mold could result from the standing water.

The school board decided to move students to the old Allen Central High School. He says students who are a part of this program are at risk of falling behind for one reason or another.

"It gives those students who are at risk or falling behind the opportunity to catch up and go on and graduate", said Adkins.

The new school is up and hill and out of the flood plain. The Army Corps of Engineers has two plans for getting water to the school. Unfortunately, they do not have a timetable for either of those plans.

"That is a little frustrating to know. And I know these guys are working on it. I know, obviously, the Army Corps of Engineers, they would like to get that building completed as well", said Adkins.

School officials also plan to offer technical classes for things like nursing and network administration classes out of the new school.

Adkins says the Army Corps of Engineers will either increase the size of the water meter on Bucks Branch or run a new water line using a different water company.