ROMNEY, W.Va. (AP) — Education officials are looking at whether the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind should be relocated instead of renovated.
Architectural firm ZMM Inc. of Charleston, which developed the schools’ master plan, is determining what it would cost to build new schools in another location.
Some state Board of Education members asked during their January meeting whether relocating the schools would be more cost effective than renovating them. The board is expected to discuss the proposal again at its February meeting, West Virginia Public Broadcasting (http://bit.ly/WwMM9R) reported.
The schools have been in Romney since 1870. About 120 students from 30 counties are currently enrolled.
“Clearly if we move somewhere then the items in our plan that call for renovation and restoration of two historic buildings would not be part of the costs,” Superintendent Lynn Boyer said. “But by the same token if we stay here we don’t have to buy land.”
She estimated a new campus would require 20 to 30 acres. The existing campus is nearly 80 acres.
If the schools are relocated, the new site must be in or near a town that’s large enough to allow students to learn how to live and navigate outside the campus, Superintendent Lynn Boyer said.
“We couldn’t just go look for the cheapest acres of land and just go there,” Boyer said. “There would be no advantage to going if all we were doing is moving someplace and the children have nothing but their classrooms and their dorm rooms. That’s not meeting the mission of the schools.”
Blind students would need at least minimal public transportation and sidewalks.
“Children who are deaf, or hard of hearing, have to have enough of a community around them that they can begin to understand how they, as deaf adults, eventually will manage,” Boyer said. “How will they bring their own interpreters into a situation for instance? How will they communicate their needs to a restaurant, to a job opportunity?”
Officials also need to determine whether more students would enroll if the schools were moved to a more central location in the state.
“It’s a hard, hard question,” Boyer said. “We’re at a time when many counties believe they can serve their children and do. We know that there are counties that try very hard but because of their own resources are not able to provide the kind of services that we can provide.”
She plans to present information to the board on the cost of relocating the schools, where children who are blind and deaf live and how many attend the schools.
Information from: WVPR-FM, http://www.wvpubcast.org/news.aspx
- Latest news
State: County not handcuffed on Terrapin Run
CUMBERLAND — An attorney with the state Department of Planning said that Allegany County is under no legal obligation to keep the Terrapin Run development in the county’s comprehensive plan. The plan is under consideration by the county planning commission.
Fracking opponents cringe as unions back drilling boom
PITTSBURGH — After early complaints that out-ofstate firms got the most jobs, some local construction trade workers and union members in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia say they’re now benefiting in a big way from the Marcellus and Utica Shale oil and gas boom.
Four DUI at Pa. sobriety checkpoint
A sobriety checkpoint and roving patrol by Pennsylvania State Police resulted in four arrests for DUI Friday on state Route 281.
Springs, Pa., man missing since Jan. 6
SPRINGS, Pa. — Pennsylvania State Police are seeking help to find a Springs man missing since Jan. 6.
Man charged with handgun crime
Timothy Hart Winkler, 30, Grantsville, was arrested by city officers early Friday after a complainant and a witness said he pulled a handgun during an argument in front of 124 Seymour St.
Moorefield man jailed on felony drug count
KEYSER, W. Va. — A Moorefield man was arrested on various charges Thursday, including a felony drug offense for possession of amphetamines, according to the Keyser Police Department.
City woman charged in domestic call
CUMBERLAND — A city woman was arrested Thursday evening after Cumberland Police investigated a domestic assault complaint in the 100 block of Pennsylvania Avenue.
Arrest made in alleged drug deal
CUMBERLAND — A 25-year-old city man was arrested Thursday night after Cumberland Police observed him allegedly taking part in a drug deal on Columbia Street.
Sheriff warns of scams targeting taxpayers
CUMBERLAND — Allegany County Sheriff Craig Robertson cautioned residents Thursday to be aware of continuing telephone scams that are targeting taxpayers.
Oakland returns to normal after tanker accident
OAKLAND — Nearly 12 hours after a propane tanker overturned in the heart of its business district, the town of Oakland returned to normal early Wednesday night.
- More Latest news Headlines
- State: County not handcuffed on Terrapin Run