State funds Widmyer roof replacement

by Kate Evans

The West Virginia School Board Authority (SBA) awarded Morgan County Schools $832,067 in funding for the nearly $1 million Widmyer Elementary roof replacement Needs project.

Widmyer Elementary in Berkeley Springs serves 420 students in grades pre-K through second grade.

Morgan County’s school board increased their local match for the Widmyer roof replacement project submission from $132,628 (10%) to $150,000 (15%) at their November 13 meeting.   The new project cost is $982,607, down from the original cost estimate of $1,326,277.

The architect recalculated the square footage costs and dropped their fees which brought the project’s estimated cost down, Morgan County Schools Superintendent Erich May said previously.

The West Virginia School Building Authority had so many project funding requests this year that it asked school districts to revisit their submissions and come up with a higher local match for their projects.

Some 19 state counties were awarded a total of $72 million in School Building Authority (SBA) funding at the agency’s December 10 quarterly meeting. Needs projects included heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) renovations, school construction and additions and roof replacements. A total of 27 counties submitted projects for funding.

Other counties whose projects were funded are Braxton, Calhoun, Clay, Fayette, Grant, Lewis, Mingo, Monroe, Nicholas, Ohio, Pendleton, Pleasants, Putnam, Randolph, Summers, Tucker, Upshur and Wayne Counties. Grant County received funding for a roof replacement and new sewage treatment plant at its Union Educational Complex.

Needs projects are major capital improvement projects — construction, maintenance and renovations projects –f unded through the School Building Authority’s General Construction Fund. Construction funds come from general state revenue and the annual sale of capital improvement bonds, according to   the agency.

“For the state to pay for 85 percent of this roof — it’s a great gift to our taxpayers. The School Building Authority has been good to Morgan County Schools. We’re just wrapping up the (Berkeley Springs High School) gym renovation, to which the School Building Authority contributed over $5 million,” Superintendent May said.

May also said that he really appreciated the assistance of Mike Hall, School Building Authority Assistant Director of Architectural Services, with technical information about roofs and helping them to get the grant. He said Williamson Shriver Architects helped them by drafting the executive summary and other grant documents.

May was unsure of what the timeline for construction of the Widmyer Elementary roof would be. He said officials are waiting for instructions from the School Building Authority.