The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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October 29, 2012

BOE seeking funds to begin upgrade to Independence Middle School systems

BECKLEY — Raleigh County Schools will throw in its lot with other school districts seeking a portion of the $5 million the West Virginia School Building Authority plans to distribute next month.

Raleigh is pursing $1 million to begin the process of making HVAC upgrades at Independence Middle School, confirmed assistant superintendent of administrative support services David Price.

Price explained that the requested $1 million will go toward updating the school’s electrical system, which must be done prior to the HVAC upgrade, and expanding the school’s sprinkler system to meet updated fire codes.

The $1 million is approximately half of what will be needed for the first phase.

“The total project at Independence Middle will be about a $7.5 million project, so we are going to do it in two phases,” Price explained.

The second phase will include the HVAC and a new school roof, he added.

The board of education also predicts needing to replace ceiling tiles at Independence, which are bowing due to dampness caused by the old heating and cooling system.

Twenty-three projects have been submitted to the School Building Authority, vying for the $5 million.

Price also said the district is in the process of working with architects to update the county’s strategic facility plan to prioritize facility upgrades over the next 10 years.

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