UPDATE | Groundbreaking held for new Herbert Hoover High School

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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – UPDATE 1/22/20 @ 5 p.m.
Four years after devastating flood damage, the celebration of recovery began Wednesday for the Herbert Hoover High School community.

Crowd of students, teachers and community members gather for the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Herbert Hoover High School.

A large crowd gathered to break ground on a new school to replace the flood-damaged building they left behind in 2016. The new site is uphill from the old school in the Given Fork area.

"This is a long time coming," Kanawha County Schools Superintendent Ronald Duerring said. "We have waited for this day for a long time, and it's just a great day to be here. The construction is going on already with the land preparation. We're finally going to get this done and get this high school built."

It has been a long process to get local, state and federal approvals for the project. Construction began last month after the Kanawha County School Board approved almost $20 million in an initial contract. In total, FEMA has committed more than $52 million for the project.

"I know how hard it's been, but I also know how hard everyone has worked to make it a reality," West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said. "You've experienced something that absolutely no one will forget. You won't forget it and no one will forget the contribution and the sacrifice that you have made for this incredible school."

This May, the first Herbert Hoover senior class to spent its entire high school education learning in portable classrooms will graduate.

"Those muddy waters may have taken our school building, but the pride of being a Husky has never wavered," senior Delani Buckner said. "Husky pride means being strong, resilient, hard-working, supporting and passionate for each other."

Buckner said her high school experience was not impacted at all by the difficult situation. She excelled in the classroom and will be heading to Appalachian State University where she will play softball. She said the past four years has brought the senior class together.

"It's not about the location of a school," Buckner said. "It's about the staff, students and administration being there. Our education has not changed, my high school experience has not changed. To be able to be selfish today and be proud to be a Husky means a lot."

Students from this year's graduating class all the way through the Herbert Hoover class of 2031 were on hand to pick up a shovel and break the ground Wednesday. It was meant to represent that this school is for the students who have worked so hard to continue setting new highs in educational excellence, despite the learning conditions.

"It's going to be a state-of-the-art building," Duerring said. "It's been well-designed. It will be a high-tech building, and there will be a lot of activities going on and opportunities for students. When they graduate, I think they will be very proud that they graduated from Herbert Hoover."

The new high school is set to be completed and open sometime in early to mid-2021.



UPDATE 12/9/19 @ 2 p.m.
At a meeting on Monday morning, The Kanawha County Board of Education approved a contract to begin site preparation for the new Herbert Hoover High School.

The 19.7 million dollar contract from Doss Enterprises was approved unanimously by the Board.

Doss Enterprises is expected to be on the site by the end of this month and tree clearing will begin in January.

UPDATE 11/22/19 @ 1:18 p.m.
U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito have announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide more than $52,304,385.75 to build a new Herbert Hoover High School after the former school was critically damaged by the 2016 floods.

Capito, who serves as chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee that funds FEMA says, "I’ve worked to prioritize this project and facilitate better relations between federal and local stakeholders. With clean up and multiple environmental assessments to clear, the process has been painstaking, but today’s news is the light at the end of the tunnel."

Senator Manchin says, "This funding will help the Elkview community feel whole again and will get our kids back into their school so that they have the best possible learning environment."

In June 2016, floodwaters destroyed the former high school, and it was demolished last fall. Since then, students have attended class at Elkview Middle School, and portables have helped the school accommodate all the students.

The new site is in the Givens Fork area between the Elkview exit of Interstate 79 and U.S. Route 119. Elkview Baptist Church owned the land before the purchase.

The new high school is expected to open sometime in early to mid-2021.



UPDATE 10/22/19 @ 9:27 a.m.
The proposed site for the new Herbert Hoover High School has received final approval from FEMA, allowing construction to proceed.

According to a release from West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, FEMA's environmental assessment found the new location will have no adverse impact on water and other natural resources, nor would it adversely affect threatened or endangered species.

“We are thrilled to receive this finding,” WVDHSEM Director Mike Todorovich said. “Rebuilding Herbert Hoover High School is a huge step in the overall recovery process for this community.”

In June 2016, floodwaters destroyed the former high school. It was demolished last fall. Since then, students have attended class at Elkview Middle School, and portables have helped the school accommodate all the students.

The new site is in the Givens Fork area between the Elkview exit of Interstate 79 and U.S. Route 119. Elkview Baptist Church owned the land before the purchase.

The new high school is expected to open sometime in early to mid-2021.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.



UPDATE 8/14/19 @ 6 p.m.
Land for the new Herbert Hoover High School has been purchased, Kanawha County Schools said Wednesday.

The school systems reports that it's awaiting the draft environmental assessment from FEMA.

In June 2016, floodwaters destroyed the former high school, and it was demolished last fall. Since then, students have attended class at Elkview Middle School, and portables have helped the school accommodate all the students.

The new site is in the Givens Fork area between the Elkview exit of Interstate 79 and U.S. Route 119. Elkview Baptist Church owned the land before the purchase.

The new high school is expected to open sometime in early to mid-2021.



ORIGINAL STORY 3/27/19
Excitement is building for the new Herbert Hoover High School, even though it’s still more than two years away from completion.

Architects with Williamson Shriver Architects released a video of the new high school, complete with artist renditions of the state-of-the-art building.

Floodwaters destroyed the former high school in 2016 and it was demolished last fall. Since then, students have attended class at Elkview Middle School, and portables have helped the school accommodate all the students.

The new high school on the Given’s Fork (church) property is expected to open early to mid-2021, according to Kanawha County Schools officials.



 
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