Nicholas School Dispute Could Be Resolved through Mediation
Saturday, March, 17, 2018
As teachers in West Virginia continue their ongoing strike, a small group met recently to discuss saving their community schools. The fight has been ongoing for more than a year and a half with no resolution in front.
The Nicholas County Board of Education and the West Virginia Board of Education met to discuss the continued mediation efforts. The two sides involved: those in support of Nicholas County school education and the group who wants to keep a school or schools inside the City of Richwood, are far from a resolution.
Problems began more than a year ago, triggered by a massive flood in June 2016. Since, both sides have battled over what the future holds for the schools. Those in support of consolidating want a high school in Glade Creek Business Park near Summersville. The opposition want the schools rebuilt inside Richwood and believe the loss of their high school would be another hit on an already damaged city. Many see the award-winning school as the highlight of the community.
At stake is millions of dollars in relief for school construction available from FEMA.
The dispute has made it all the way to the West Virginia Supreme Court. The sides settled into mediation, initiated by FEMA, in an attempt to devise a solution on which everyone could agree.
Senior mediator with the Consensus Building Institute, Stacie Smith, called the mediation pre-decisional, and an attempt to gather those involved and set a course for a proper decision. She is hoping that resolution is not far off.