WV schools ask School Building Authority for money to improve sa - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

WV schools ask School Building Authority for money to improve safety

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SBA officials encourage schools to install more security features SBA officials encourage schools to install more security features
JACKSON COUNTY, WV -

More than a dozen superintendents pleaded their cases to the School Building Authority this week to try and secure funds to pay for construction projects.  

Nineteen proposals were presented to the SBA seeking more than $100 million from the authority. State officials say they only plan on awarding $45 million this year. Jackson County Superintendent Blaine Hess is hopeful it will be Jackson County's turn.  

"Our next construction project for a new school is to focus on Ravenswood Middle School," said Hess.  

Funding is tight and superintendents say they know it's important to have stand-out proposals and focus on areas the SBA holds in high regard.  

"Safety is paramount in everyone's minds, there's nothing more important than keeping our kids safe," said Hess.  

Officials said out of the 19 proposals they received, 11 had security enhancements in their plans. Dr Mark Manchin, the executive director of the School Building Authority said the change in focus came as a result of recent school shootings.  

"If you look at our projects five years ago, seldom did any of the projects request safety components," said Manchin.  

School administrators said recently written proposals almost always include security enhancements in mind.   "Locking mechanisms on doors, shatterproof glass, and things of that nature, now are much higher prioritized when requests come in," said Manchin.  

State officials say they will keep on offering incentives for schools to repair safety. The goal is to upgrade all schools within in the state to the highest safety priority.

Decisions on which counties will receive funding this year will be announced on April 28th.