ROMNEY, W.Va. – Students attending the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (WVSDB) will move to remote learning next week (Feb. 28 – Mar. 4) as work is ongoing to restore services to the campus. A fire destroyed the historic Administration Building early Saturday morning. Although the building was unoccupied, it did house the servers that power campus technology including internet, telephones, surveillance equipment and other utilities. Students were not on campus at the time of the fire, but instead at their homes for the weekend.
A coalition of state agency partners is working to restore services to the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, and Governor Jim Justice has requested Frontier to prioritize the schools’ needs to restore services. That work is expected to begin Saturday evening.
West Virginia Fire Marshals have been on the scene most of the day, and continue their investigation of the fire that was reported shortly after 6:00 a.m.
State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch has directed WVSDB administrators to contact families personally to inform them of remote learning arrangements and to address any concerns they may have. There was no damage to any other facilities on campus.
“This is absolutely heartbreaking news for the Romney community and all the staff, students and alumni that are part of this great institution,” Governor Justice said in a released statement. “We are committed to rebuilding what was lost and making sure this institution has what it needs to continue its important mission in Hampshire County.”
“The response from the Governor, emergency crews, firefighters, community members and agency partners has been tremendous,” said Superintendent Burch. “We are moving forward to best meet the needs of our students during this difficult time. WVSDB administrators have been on the scene all day, and a group from the Department will soon be on-site to assist in any way we can.”
The State Fire Marshal is leading the investigation into the cause of the fire and updates will be provided as information becomes available.
For media inquiries, contact Christy Day, West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications, at 304-558-2699 or Christy.Day@k12.wv.us.
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