Mediation Resolves Nicholas County Schools Dispute
Friday, September, 21, 2018
Mediation has, once again, resolved a dispute within the public school system.
According to Nicholas County School Superintendent Donna Burge-Tetrick, this was always going to be the case. The goal was to replace the county’s school buildings destroyed in a 2016 flood, and despite a contentious debate over the issue, mediation made it possible to move forward.
FEME (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) recently signed off on a plan with Nicholas County school officials and the state Board of Education to build new schools in Richwood and near Summersville. $160 million will come from FEME for new construction. The state will pay the remaining $18 million.
According to Burge-Tetrick, mediation was key in resolving the matter because it “helped everyone to understand the different perspectives and concerns and now, as a result of the mediated agreement, I believe we have two high schools that will be sustainable for a long period of time. ”
Previously, the state Board of Education had rejected local school board plans to combine five area schools into a single school.
Now, the mediated plan result in a new Richwood High School on property owned at Cherry River Elementary. A new Richwood Middle will also be included at the site. A new Nicholas County Middle School, Nicholas County High School and technical education center will be built at the Glade Creek Business Park.
Next up is the environmental study on both of the properties, which according to Burge-Tetrick should not uncover any problems. She did say they will take about six months to complete. Construction will begin as soon as the results from the studies are in.