W.Va. School Board Votes Against Nicholas Co. Consolidation, Again

Jul 10, 2017

The West Virginia Board of Education has voted a second time against consolidating schools in Nicholas County.

A member of the public opposed to consolidation watches on at the state Board of Education meeting Monday.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The vote came one day before a court hearing in a lawsuit against the state over the first vote.

Members of the state Board of Education voted 6 to 1 Monday to refuse to accept a consolidation plan approved earlier by the Nicholas County Board of Education.

It’s the second state board vote on the issue. The first came on June 13 and was followed by the filing of a lawsuit.

In that suit, Nicholas County board members claim the state arbitrarily denied the consolidation plan. That’s why state board President Tom Campbell said the board took a second vote on Monday-- to clarify its decision.

But Campbell said his board still wants to work with Nicholas County.

"We tried to offer to expedite a plan with the School Building Authority president, me and the president of the Nicholas County board and they said no," Campbell said after the vote.

"So, I’d just like to see more cooperation and less distance from the people who are affected by the decision.”

The consolidation plan presented to the state would combine five schools all onto one campus in the Summersville area - Richwood High and Middle Schools, Summersville Middle, Nicholas County High School, and the county’s vocational school.

Richwood High and Middle and Summersville Middle were all damaged during the June 2016 flooding that devastated much of southern and central West Virginia. The schools have not been reopened.

Kanawha County Circuit Judge Duke Bloom will hear arguments in the case Tuesday morning.