CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — As West Virginia’s population continues to decline, it’s affecting student enrollment in Kanawha County.
During Thursday’s school board meeting, the board discussed consolidating some KCS schools going forward as they continue to lose students.
The first one to see these potential changes will be Cedar Grove Middle School.
In the eastern part of Kanawha County, the middle school has only 165 students.
It’s one of 69 school buildings within the Kanawha County School District — too many buildings for the district’s enrollment according to Kanawha County school board president Becky Jordon.
“I mean I’ve been on the board now for 20 years and we’ve lost thousands of students since,” she said.
In March, the district plans to ask the West Virginia School Building Authority for money so they can make improvements to Cedar Grove Elementary, on the same premises as the middle school.
“We want to keep a school up in that community, make it a better elementary, and provide more services to the elementary kids because there are over 300 students at that elementary,” said Jordon.
The improvements will also close Cedar Grove Middle School and their students will be transferred to Dupont Middle, about a 20-minute drive away to Belle.
Students 13 News spoke with say their classes are already small at the middle school, with about five to ten students.
“It’s kind of sad because they have been talking about closing the school now but I don’t think I’ll see the day when they actually close it,” said one student.
The students say even though they likely won’t be there to see the change, they worry about those who have no ride to school.
According to Jordon, the district will provide bussing, and the middle schoolers will ultimately have more curricular and sports opportunities at Dupont Middle.
The KCS school board will know in April if they get the money for the improvements to Cedar Grove Elementary, at which point they’ll start public hearings on closing the middle school.