Lewis and Gilmer Counties Join for First Multi-County School - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Lewis and Gilmer Counties Join for First Multi-County School

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It's never been done, until now. Lewis and Gilmer Counties will work together to build and operate one elementary school in the Linn area, on the Lewis-Gilmer County line. The school will replace the aging Alum Bridge and Troy Elementary Schools.

"It gives the children out there for several decades a beautiful new building that's safe, viable and conducive to education and learning," said Lewis County Superintendent Joe Mace.

The W.Va. School Building Authority decided to fully funding the project, which executive director Mark Manchin said is rare. It will cost more than $11 million.

"Two of the worst schools based on the facilities themselves are old and really deteriorating. Based on this project we were able to address two schools with one," said SBA Executive Director Mark Manchin.

The name, design and even the paint colors inside the new school will be decided by an advisory council with an equal number of members from each county.

"We can't put additional rooms on because of size constraints of where we are now. We're very limited at Alum Bridge School. So this opens up an opportunity to keep a neighborhood school concept," Mace said.

And for education officials around the state, the classroom learning makes the project worth the challenge of functioning with two counties.

"I'm going to be gone but this school's going to be there. And how it's governed and operated is made up of both counties," Mace said.

The school will open in the fall of 2014, Mace said.

The SBA is discussing similar projects with several other counties, Manchin said.