- Associated Press - Monday, February 13, 2017

MONTGOMERY, W.Va. (AP) - The West Virginia University Institute of Technology campus could become a college for former foster care children.

KVC Health Systems is hoping to turn the Montgomery campus into a college for children who have aged out of the foster care system, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported (https://bit.ly/2lH7K9s ).

Tommy Bailey, a lobbyist at Spilman, Thomas & Battle, has helped the Kansas-based nonprofit with negotiations to lease the campus then purchase it.

KVC has been working on a concept where we see a gap in child welfare, and that is to support foster youth as they grow up,” Bailey said. “Since most of them don’t have a support structure like a family, they usually don’t use all those benefits that they can receive through the state when they go to college.”

According to Bailey, WVU and KVC Health Systems have reached a general agreement, but no lease-purchase agreement has been signed yet.

“It really makes sense to us from our experience working with this population, to have something separate and something specifically designed for their needs,” Bailey said.

WVU plans to announce more details of the agreement Wednesday.

“There have been multiple entities interested in the campus facilities in Montgomery,” WVU said in a statement. “Of these groups, one - KVC Health Systems - has been engaged in discussions with the local community about their interest in the property. We hope to share more details soon, after a final contract is signed. We believe that this agreement will be a positive opportunity for the area, for this organization and for the West Virginia University system.”

If an agreement is reached soon, Bailey said KVC would hope to attract a group of about 50 students to the college within a year. Once the college is totally operational, KVC hopes about 500 students will attend school there.


Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, https://wvgazettemail.com.

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