After the approval by the School Building Authority this week for another $1 million toward the construction of the Fayette County School system, Superintendent Terry George reported the county is right on track to have several new schools opened by fall 2019. 

George said the money is to be used to complete the new schools in three phases. 

Phase 1 includes construction currently under way on the more than 100-acre area near Oak Hill High School. George said this includes a New River PreK-2 school, which will be voted upon to be called New River Primary School; New River Intermediate; and a new building for Collins Middle School, which he said will be voted on to be called Oak Hill Middle School. 

"This will be a complex for a total of four schools," George said, "including the three currently under way and the existing Oak Hill High School." 

Phase 1 also includes reconstructing the current Fayetteville High School. George explained six new classrooms will be added to the school to convert it to a PreK-8 school. 

"For that, we will be converting the old existing auditorium into more classroom space, and the school will get a new cafeteria, kitchen and gym," he said. 

Current FHS students will move to Oak Hill High, George added. 

Also coming in fall 2019, in what George is calling "Phase 2." Valley High School in Smithers will be converted into another PreK-8 school. This will require current students of Valley High in grades 9-12 to attend either Oak Hill High or Midland Trail High in Fayette County or Riverside High School in Kanawha County.

The new PreK-8 school will require several updates and revision, George said, including updated science labs. 

Phase 3, which will come much later in the game, George said, will include a new PreK-12 school in Meadow Bridge. He said the new school more than likely won't open until 2021. 

George said he hopes in regard to Phase 3 a new elementary school will also be built in Midland Trail. 

"It will all depend on what additional money we can get from the SBA, but we would like to be able to do this with some local money as well," George said. "We're looking forward to getting our students into these new schools." 

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