At last night’s Kanawha County Board of Education meeting, an update was given on the construction of the new Herbert Hoover High School and new Clendenin Elementary School. That update announced another delayed opening.
It was announced that the much-anticipated HHHS will now be delayed till 2022. The new elementary school is still set to open in 2021, but possible hold ups are not out of the equation.
Kanawha County Schools (KCS) Executive Director of Facilities Planning, Chuck Smith gave the update on the construction. The Board is waiting for FEMA’s environmental process to be complete before they can move forward.
Patience is wearing thin for many Elk River parents whose children are attending class still in portables.
Kelli Baker-Harding has three kids, two of them have graduated from Herbert Hoover High school. Her youngest is currently a junior.
“I know parents that have moved off the Elk River and I know people who won’t move to the Elk River until they know if we’re going to get our schools built and it’s going to kill the Elk River community, it’s going to slowly die off unless we get those schools built. It’s detrimental to our livelihood and the Elk River to get these school, so build them,” said Baker-Harding.
The Board of Education said they want to make one thing clear to end the rumors circling around the delays – it’s a not a school board issue, it’s a FEMA issue.
Superintendent of Kanawha County Schools, Dr. Ronald Duerring said, there are certain process out of their control that they must follow and comply to before moving forward.
“If we jump any process of anything we have to do within that process, it could mean that our students might not get the full complement of the schools they deserve. We can not and will not allow that to happen,” said Duerring.
In the meantime, school board members ask parents to remain positive.
“When these schools are built they’re going to be state-of-the-art and the most beautiful schools we have in Kanawha County, and they’ll be the proudest parents in the valley when they see these schools being built. So if they can hang with us, stick right with us and keep that community together, they will be proud in the end of what they will receive,” said Duerring.
KCS is expecting to receive environmental approval this month and will continue to keep parents updated on the process through their social media and online.
They hope to break ground this summer if all goes accordingly.