- Associated Press - Monday, September 21, 2015

SUGAR GROVE, W.Va. (AP) - A child welfare and behavioral health care company is continuing efforts to acquire a Navy base in Pendleton County after the facility closes.

KVC Health Systems has proposed converting the Naval Information Operations Center in Sugar Grove into a community college for youth who are too old for foster care and do not have family or home for support as they try to enter the job market or continue their education.

The campus would combine new educational methods with vocational training, according to KVC. It would include specialized health services with emphasis on postgraduation on-the-job training followed with career placement support.

“KVC is still enthusiastic about (Sugar Grove’s) potential for research (and), more importantly, its positive impact on youth,” KVC spokeswoman Jenny Kutz told the Daily News-Record (https://bit.ly/1OplMrD) of Harrisonburg, Virginia. “We will continue to partner closely with community and state leadership to move this vision to reality.”

Earlier this month, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin turned down the federal government’s offer to transfer ownership of the 122-acre base to the state. State corrections officials had suggested that the base be used as a women’s prison.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had refused to support KVC’s concept for the property, saying the initial expected graduating class of 200 students did not justify use of the entire facility.

The U.S. General Services Administration is expected to put the facility up for auction. The property has 105 buildings, including residential housing.

“KVC is exploring every possible avenue, including an auction and any other conveyance of the property,” Thomas S. Bailey, a consultant for KVC, told the newspaper. “We are working with the state economic development office and the governor’s office.”

The base is scheduled to close at the end of September as part of an agency-wide realignment of personnel and resources announced in 2012 by the National Security Agency.

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Information from: Daily News-Record, https://www.dnronline.com

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