Randy Yohe Published

One Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy Getting Multi-Million Dollar, Taxpayer Funded Facelift 

Lines of young people in uniform
Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy cadets.
Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy

Senate Bill 1038 provides just over $3 million for the West Virginia National Guard to use for its southern academy’s security system and physical plant upgrades.   

The quasi-military educational program, housed in buildings on the former West Virginia Tech campus in Montgomery, trains and mentors at-risk and academically challenged teenagers. The school uses a 22-week residential and one year post-residential follow-up program, to become contributing members of society. High School diplomas are available to those who qualify. 

The academy website notes that:

“Quasi-military” is a term used to describe the program because it resembles military training. Our structured environment includes many aspects related to military training such as paying attention to detail, respect, self-discipline and a chain of command.”

Gov. Jim Justice signed the bill at the academy and noted he has been on some projects with the cadets and was impressed with their progress.

“These are kids that maybe were a little astray,” Justice said. “We’re trying to reset their life and get them on a good path.”

Justice said the state’s two Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academies, the North Academy being in Richwood, have graduated more than 5,000 cadets.