CHARLESTON– The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) voted today to reject Nicholas County School’s proposed revision to its Comprehensive Education Facilities Plan (CEFP). The historic flood in June 2016 necessitated an amendment to Nicholas County’s 10-year CEFP. Following the flood, three Nicholas County school buildings were unable to open during the 2016-17 school year: Richwood High School, Richwood Middle School and Summersville Middle School and students attended school in alternate locations.
Nearly 100 members of the public attended the meeting and the WVBE heard from delegations, both in support of and opposed to the CEFP proposal.
Following Nicholas County’s presentation of the revised CEFP, West Virginia Superintendent of Schools, Steven Paine, presented a qualitative report that he had been directed to gather at the request of the WVBE. Director of School Planning and Construction for the West Virginia School Building Authority (SBA), Scott Raines, presented an alternative proposal for the configuration of schools in Nicholas County during Paine’s report. The alternative plan would consider a middle school/high school in both the Richwood area and a second middle school/high school in the Summersville area. WVBE members expressed support for making those proposed schools comprehensive schools inclusive of Career Technical Education (CTE) centers.
Because there were multiple alternative plans brought to light during the meeting, the WVBE voted 7-1 to reject Nicholas County’s CEFP amendment. The motion read, “A motion to reject Nicholas County’s proposed amendment to its CEFP inclusive of the closure of five schools, because the Board believes sufficient alternatives and possibilities have not been explored to be assured this plan is in the best interest of the students of Nicholas County, and specifically of those in the current Richwood Middle and Richwood High School areas.”
Nicholas County’s rejected CEFP revision proposed the closure of five schools at the conclusion of the 2020 school year including Richwood High School, Nicholas County High School, Nicholas County Career and Technical Education Center, Summersville Middle School and Richwood Middle School. The students from Nicholas County High School, Richwood High School and the Nicholas County Career and Technical Center would be consolidated into a newly constructed comprehensive high school at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year. Richwood Middle School and Summersville Middle School students would be consolidated into a newly constructed middle school at the beginning of the 2020‑21 school year. The Nicholas County Board of Education unanimously approved the CEFP revision on March 7, 2017.