Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Assessment
New Kanawha Elementary School – Clendenin
The School Building Authority (SBA), in conjunction with the Kanawha County Board of Education (KCBOE), has applied through the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (WVDHSEM) to the FEMA Public Assistance (PA) grant program for funding assistance, under the Presidentially Declared Disaster FEMA-DR-4273-WV, for the reconstruction of Clendenin Elementary School. In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has prepared a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed construction of a new elementary school to replace the damaged Clendenin Elementary School, outside of the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), central West Virginia experienced intense convection storms along a stationary front on June 23, 2016. The stalled movement of the storms led many areas to receive up to 10 inches of rainfall within 24 hours, producing a 1,000-year storm event. The intense rainfall resulted in widespread flash flooding, claiming 23 lives and crippling the state with substantial damage to residences, commercial structures, and public infrastructure. Statewide, the flood event damaged more than two dozen schools in 10 counties, including four schools in the Elk River Valley of Kanawha County: Clendenin Elementary School, Elkview Middle School, Bridge Elementary School, and Herbert Hoover High School. Clendenin Elementary School was determined to be substantially damaged and, as such, was deemed eligible for replacement under the FEMA PA grant program.
Due to Clendenin Elementary School’s location within the 100-year floodplain, reconstruction of the school on the original site would not alleviate the risk of future flooding. Therefore, FEMA is funding the replacement of Clendenin Elementary School with the construction of a new school outside of the SFHA. A new school is needed to provide elementary classroom education for the Town of Clendenin in a permanent facility that is safe, accessible, and meets all applicable codes and standards. The location of the substantially damaged Clendenin Elementary School is 503 Maywood Avenue East, Clendenin, West Virginia. The town of Clendenin is in Kanawha County, approximately 20 miles northeast of the City of Charleston, and approximately 12 miles northeast of Elkview.
Alternatives discussed in this EA include properties both within and adjacent to the city limits of Clendenin. Under the Proposed Action Alternative, Clendenin Elementary School would be replaced with a comparable facility at a new location. The proposed action would acquire 101.64 acres located off Hokie Lane/Wolverton Mountain Road and Fairwater Road in Elkview, of which 39.27 acres would be developed. Coordinates for the center of the subject property are 38.477853 latitude, -81.376292 longitude. The proposed site meets all the requirements listed under WVDE Policy 6200.
The Draft EA has been prepared in accordance with all requirements of NEPA, the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), Executive Order 11988 (“Floodplain Management”), Executive Order 11990 (“Protection of Wetlands”), and the implementing regulations of FEMA, for the purpose of assessing the potential impacts of the Proposed Action on the human and natural environment. The Draft EA summarizes the purpose of and need for the project, alternatives considered, the affected environment, and potential environmental consequences of the project. It is available for review and comment and can be viewed on and/or downloaded from FEMA’s website at https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4273. Printed copies are also available for viewing or photocopying at the following locations:
Kanawha County Main Library
123 Capitol St
Charleston, WV 25301
Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m.- 9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
Clendenin Branch Library
107 Koontz Ave
Clendenin, WV 25045
Tuesday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Wednesday 12 p.m.-6 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Elk Valley Branch Library
313 The Crossings Mall
Elkview, WV 25071
Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
The comment period will conclude 30 days after the initial publication of this Public Notice on June 6, 2019. Written comments on the Draft EA can be mailed or emailed to the contact listed below. If no substantive comments are received, the Draft EA and associated Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) will become final. Substantive comments received will be addressed as appropriate in the Final EA/FONSI.
FEMA Regional Environmental Office, Region III
615 Chestnut St, 6th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19106
FEMA works to ensure that information is accessible for all of our customers. If you are having issues obtaining any of the graphical information presented in the appendices, please contact us by email at FEMA-R3-EHP-PublicComment@fema.dhs.gov, so we may provide it in an accessible format.