KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – The Kanawha County School Board has voted to close Marmet Elementary School.

The unanimous 5-0 vote took place Tuesday night, May 2, 2023, at the Riverside High School Auditorium in Belle, West Virginia. The closure will take effect at the end of the 2023-2024 school year, officials say.

Prior to the vote, families who live near the school told WOWK 13 News they did not want to see it shut down. One resident, Kevin Clark told 13 News Reporter Sam DeCoste he was a student at the school himself nearly 50 years ago. Clark says some of his fondest childhood memories come from walking and riding his bike to school with his friends.

Now, Clark says, students who live near the school will have to take a bus to go to school at Chesapeake Elementary School starting in the 2024-2025 school year.

“I remember we just walked to school, and now they’re going to have to catch a bus,” Clark said. “And it was very easy to get to school. We rode our bikes down there, and there was a place to park them. Simpler times. Now they’re going to have to go out to a bus stop, and even though the bus ride is short, it’s still a bus ride.”

Tonight’s vote was the first of three consecutive votes the Kanawha County Board of Education is holding as part of consolidating schools in the County. On Wednesday night, the board will hold another special session at West Side Middle School at 6 p.m. regarding the potential closing of Grandview Elementary School. The final special session will be at 6 p.m. at St. Albans High School on Thursday regarding the potential closure of Weimer Elementary School.