By Steve Keenan, The Fayette Tribune
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The School Building Authority of West Virginia will entertain needs requests from 27 county school systems on Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 13-14 during interviews in Charleston.
Included among the capital funding requests will be one from Fayette County Schools, which is seeking up to $15,625,860 from the SBA to go towards construction of a new elementary school in Hico. The county has committed $6 million of its own finances to flesh out the funding of a $21,625,860 project.
If eventually approved for Fayette, the funding package will result in the shuttering of the current Ansted and Divide elementary school buildings and the merging of those student populations into a new Midland Trail Elementary School to serve PK-5 students at the current Midland Trail School Complex in Hico.
Ansted Elementary was built in 1954 and Divide Elementary was constructed in 1953. Both have had three major additions since then.
Under second-month enrollment figures from the 2022-23 school term, both schools were below 60 percent building utilization at the time. Ansted had 180 students with a capacity of 310, while Divide had 209 students against a capacity of 385.
In the existing building evaluation report, Ansted overall was listed to be in poor condition and Divide was described as fair.
The Fayette County Board of Education voted unanimously in 2021 to close both schools.