He said research shows it takes time for teachers and students to begin performing at their normal level after a move. That can cause a lot of unnecessary stress, he said.
Boyer said she understands why the concept of moving the schools would garner attention. The schools have been in Romney since 1870, so a shift would hurt the economies of both Romney and the new locale.
She wants to focus on improving facilities. None of the 19 buildings on campus are less than 20 years old, and some have been around since the school opened. Ferguson said improvements have been delayed so long that it would be cheaper to tear down most of the structures and build new facilities than to renovate.
"We understand from our perspective the needs for renovations on our campus on many levels: basic infrastructure, certainly face-lifting to make the schools current and appealing to students and families, to have buildings that are going to meet the needs of students now, not the needs of students for instruction and career training 50 years ago," Boyer said.
During the long conversation at the last board meeting, Boyer also said she thought some deaf or blind students not attending the school were not receiving adequate services at the county level. An update to her campus could lead to more of those students learning about the programs at the schools.
While the schools need to be rebuilt or moved, Boyer recognizes either alternative is a massive endeavor.
"We're very invested in that goal, but we certainly are pragmatists. We have to work with the board, and we have to work with the Legislature with our goal in mind," Boyer said. "I think that's the prudent but honest way to go forward."
The school recently received close to $1 million from the state School Building Authority for a small project, but it's going to need a large chunk of cash from the Legislature for any major capital project.
Ferguson and Boyer said it's up to the state board to sign off on the scope of the project before any funding decisions can be made. Ferguson hopes some federal funds or private dollars might be available for the project as well, but he didn't say anything was in the works.
The project would take between three and five years to complete whether it's in Romney or somewhere else, Ferguson said.