ELKVIEW, WV (WOWK) – It’s been almost seven years since the Elk River flooded and wiped out Herbert Hoover High School. According to Michael Kelley, the school’s principal, the project to rebuild the school in a different location will soon be complete.
“We’re looking forward to having more space and being able to better utilize the facility for our programs,” Kelley said. “We’ve done really well academically over the past 6.5 years, but we’re going to have access to more technology.”
Kelley said the new building will be state-of-the-art in academics and athletics. In addition to the newest technology, there will be indoor and outdoor athletic facilities including tennis courts, a soccer field, a football field and baseball and softball fields.
There are a lot of aspects of the new high school that Kelley said he’s looking forward to; however, Kaleb Lanier, a junior at Herbert Hoover, said there’s one thing he’s very excited about.
Lanier, who plays in the school’s marching band, will be among the first class to graduate from the new high school building next year. For his entire high school career, the portable units outside of the Elkview Middle School are all he’s known, and he said the band hasn’t had their own place to practice in years.
“I’m really excited to get into the building. Obviously, it’s been almost seven years so it’s been a long time coming,” He said. “The field is amazing. I’m excited for it to be turf. No more having to paint the parking lot or the field for practice.”
Kelley said it hasn’t been easy adjusting to the aftermath of the 2016 flood, but that hasn’t stopped the Huskies from rising to the challenge.
“We have continued to be one of the highest achieving schools in the state academically. We’ve had more athletic success than we’ve had any time in the history of the school,” He said. “We decided very early on that we were not going to use this as an excuse to fail.”
Jared Raynes has been teaching at Herbert Hoover for two years. He said the staff is looking forward to the new building just as much as the students.
“I think we’ll have state-of-the-art facilities. We’ll have state-of-the-art programs to go with it,” Raynes said. “It will be a seamless transition and everything that happens here now will be twice as good when we get there.”
Kelley said crews are working to finish the inside of the new building, but there is no set date for when construction will be complete. However, he said it is expected to be open to students starting next school year.