HAZARD — At the Aug. 16 meeting of the Perry County School Board, several parents from the Chavies community gathered to ask questions about the newly granted funds by the Appalachian Regional Commission to upgrade water and sewer lines at Chavies School, and how this project might relate to a delay in the school’s closing.
Two weeks ago, the Hazard Herald reported ARC’s announcement that $500 thousand had been allocated through a grant to Perry County Sanitation for upgrades to the water system in the Chavies community. The school was indeed included as part of the proposed plans. The Hazard Herald also reported earlier this year about the Perry County Board of Education’s plans to close Chavies school when the new West Perry Elementary opens.
The grant through ARC was applied for prior to the definite decision to close Chavies School. At the recent Board meeting, Superintendent Jonathan Jett told parents that regardless of proposed upgrades to the water and sewer system, Chavies Elementary remains on track to close for good at the end of this school year. Meetings with parents will begin in January to decide which students from Chavies choose to enroll in Buckhorn next year and which prefer to enroll in West Perry.
At the same meeting, an official with the construction crew that is building West Perry’s facility gave an update, which projects the school to be completed in plenty enough time for students to start classes there in the fall of 2017. West Perry will consolidate Chavies, A.B. Combs and Willard. Therefore, those three schools will close when the current school year ends.
The Hazard Herald has reached out for a comment from ARC to determine if the commission is aware of the fact that Chavies School will be closing next summer and if the school’s closing will change plans for upgrades to that area. We have not yet received a response, but an update will be published as soon as we do. The project to upgrade waterlines in the Chavies community will maintain its funding and continue to develop for households in that area, regardless of the situation with the school.
Sam Neace can be reached at 606-629-3243 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.