The West Virginia Board of Education threw its support behind the state Schools for the Deaf and the Blind Thursday, resolving that the school should remain at its location in Romney.
That's a victory for the school, after an extended debate over whether the best location for the school is in its aging facilities in the Eastern Panhandle.
In January, school administrators asked the Board of Education to sign off on an extensive -- potentially $100 million -- facilities plan, so that administrators could seek public funding for extensive renovations to the campus.
That prompted board members to question the wisdom of moving forward at the school's current site -- they asked Lynn Boyer, the school's superintendent, to look into the feasibility of moving to another, more central, site.
That request, and the board's subsequent investigation into the matter, prompted outcry from the school community, and Romney at large.
The specialized school has operated at its current site in Romney since 1870, just seven years after West Virginia became a state, and supporters argued vehemently that it is an integral part of that community. Last month the board held its monthly meeting in Romney, and the meeting room was filled to capacity with community members vying for the school to remain in its current location.
In the resolution it adopted Thursday, the board said that "the care shown by the Romney community for every individual student and adult associated with the schools provides the underlying strength and fiber for the backbone of support necessary for the success of the overall mission" of the school and that the Romney community uniquely "understands and respects the special characteristics of the learners in these schools."
Boyer thanked the board for its "show of support," and said she was pleased to report back to her school on the development.