- Associated Press - Friday, July 22, 2016

RICHWOOD, W.Va. (AP) - Three Nicholas County schools will not reopen this upcoming school year because of flood damage.

The Nicholas County Board of Education announced Thursday evening at a special meeting that Richwood High School, Richwood Middle School and Summersville Middle School received too much damage to reopen Aug. 19, media outlets reported.

Superintendent Donna Burge-Tetrick said that while she doesn’t know if the schools can be reopened at all, she is still aiming to have students at all three schools start on schedule. That may require using portable classrooms or sharing other school facilities between two separate schools’ students.

Charleston-based ZMM Architects and Engineers had determined that Richwood Middle has $1 million to $1.5 million in structural damage and that Summersville Middle has more than $500,000 in structural damage in the wake of late June flooding.

The firm said two classrooms at each school are unsafe for students to be in.

According to Burge-Tetrick, those structural damage estimates don’t include damage to building contents, such as ceiling tiles and electrical systems.

“Now we’re at the point where we don’t have time to get schools ready, and because we don’t have time to get schools ready, we have to have an option,” she said.

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