- Associated Press - Thursday, September 8, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The West Virginia Board of Education has approved a consolidation plan for Fayette County public schools.

The Comprehensive Education Facilities Plan, which was approved Wednesday, seeks to reconfigure, redistrict and renovate several county schools and construct a couple of new ones, local news organizations reported.

The plan would drop the number of county public schools from 18 to 11 and preserve only two existing high schools.

Additionally, it seeks to build new schools including a Collins Middle School and an Oak Hill area school for students in pre-K through second grade.

Superintendent Michael Martirano said, “I applaud this data-driven process which resulted in a product supported by both the Fayette County community and the School Building Authority.”

Tom Campbell, the only board member to vote against the plan, expressed concerned about a possible drop in extracurricular activity participation and other issues.

“I think for West Virginia to ignore that tremendous strength in our people and to base school decisions solely upon data and curriculum, I think, is a mistake,” he said.

The plan will be submitted to the state School Building Authority board for approval at its quarterly meeting Sept. 26. Martirano will ask the authority’s board for money to carry out the plan.

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