Mountaineer Challenge Academy Looking to Expand


On this West Virginia Morning, the Mountaineer Challenge Academy in Preston County wants to open a campus in southern West Virginia, but there’s some skepticism as to whether it will be possible. Reporter Dave Mistich also brings us the latest from the statehouse.

West Virginia Delegate Jason Harshbarger has submitted a letter of resignation from the House’s 7th District. As Dave Mistich reports, the two-term lawmaker is leaving to take a new role with Dominion Energy.

Last month, Governor Jim Justice signed House Bill 206 on education into law. One of the bill’s provisions advocates for a second Mountaineer Challenge Academy in Fayette County. 

The Mountaineer Challenge Academy is a National Guard run program in Preston County. It takes at-risk teens through a strict 22-week program, with high school academics and physical education.

Academy staff say a second location would benefit families in southern West Virginia, who are farthest away from the school. The West Virginia National Guard says it’s considering the former WVU Tech Campus in Montgomery. Emily Allen reports.

The West Virginia National Guard talks openly about using the Montgomery Campus for its new youth challenge academy. Yet, the town itself has heard very little about hosting the program.

Montgomery and the rest of the Upper Kanawha Valley took a huge economic hit when WVU Tech moved to Beckley in 2017. Attempts by the state to fill the old campus have failed, leaving some to wonder if this effort is any different. Emily Allen reports.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.

Our news director is Jesse Wright. Our producer is Glynis Board.