It’s a small town that became a big family and one thing that family did was not give up. After Richwood was hit hard with the devastating floods that happened a year ago this month. Several residents lost their homes and learned that they could possibly lose their schools for good. But, on Tuesday that changed. Lillian Kutcher resident of Richwood told us, “I was so excited, it has been really been rough and stressful but I am so thankful that they voted against the consolidation. So, we can have our schools for our kids here in town, it means a lot to have the kids school here in Richwood.” And that is exactly where it will be and stay for good.
On Tuesday June 13th, the West Virginia Board of Education voted to reject the Nicholas county school board’s proposal to consolidate five schools in Richwood, Summersville and Craigsville. Out of nine board members, only one member voted for consolidation. Now, the people of Richwood say the tears and frustration was well worth the battle. A current student in Richwood school’s Dani Evans told us, “I’m really excited that I don’t have to go to Summersville for middle school and high school.” While Racheal Rose of Richwood said, “I’m glad that West Virginia is finally starting to see that education is more about the budget, it’s about thinking outside the box and bringing these small communities, rural towns close together like Richwood is.”
Mayor of Richwood Bob Henry Baber has been fighting for the town of Richwood since the beginning and is glad the long fight is over. Baber added, “What it’s like to go through a flood a thousand year flood and then have to fight for your schools, on top of it, it’s really been a lot for everybody to go through. But, you know we’re very grateful for the State board, we finally, finally, finally got heard!”
WOAY did try to talk to the Superintendent of Nicholas County School’s as well as board members. But, they were all unavailable to comment on the vote of non consolidation and where they will go from here.