CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Clendenin nonprofit received $100,000 in county funds to help cover the cost of converting classrooms into a day care facility during Thursday's Kanawha County Commission meeting.
Commissioners unanimously voted to provide the funding to 25045 -- A New Clendenin.
The group has been working to turn the classrooms under the gym of the old Clendenin Middle School into child care facilities, said Jack Suttle, board president.
The money will replenish funds already spent. It could also be used for other projects like the rehabilitation of the Roxy Theater in downtown Clendenin, Suttle said.
The Roxy closed at least 20 years ago, said Kay Summers, vice chairwoman. Members of the agency's board are hoping to turn it into a multipurpose building, she said.
"We could use the building to show movies or for plays," Summers said.
The group spearheaded the effort to rehabilitate the old Clendenin Middle School. The building now houses 18 apartments for senior citizens, a clinic and a pharmacy. Representatives hope to have the day care, which will be operated by PATCH out of Roane County, open by June 1.
The company is planning to hire eight full-time and six part-time employees at the new day care, Summers said.
The day care will provide service to 60 children, she said. There is already a waiting list for the spots in the daycare program, Summers added.
The funds will come from the county's table games fund.
Commission President Kent Carper praised the organization for its work.
The vacant school had become a blighted structure and an eyesore, he said. However, Carper never believed the project would work, he said.
"I thought this was crazy," Carper said.
But, Commissioner Hoppy Shores convinced him the project would work and Carper and the other commissioners voted to give the agency about $100,000 in seed money to leverage other funds.
This money was used to secure about $4.5 million in federal funds, Carper said. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., was the driving force behind securing the funds for the agency, he said.
Over the past five years, the commission has provided $400,000 to the agency. That includes Thursday's allocation.
"This may be one of the most significant projects in an area that has struggled," Carper said. "It's just a great project."
Commissioners also unanimously voted to allocate $14,361 out of the county's coal severance fund to pay for a small tractor for the Mountain State Little League.
The tractor will be used to replace outdated landscaping equipment, said Edward "Buddy" Hall, field maintenance manager.
Commissioners also allocated $10,000 to the town of Montgomery to help pay for renovations to the municipal pool.
Sheriff John Rutherford also said he intends to use $17,000 from the department's concealed pistol permit fund to pay for equipment for new concealed weapons permits.
The new permits, which will not be mandatory, will include the recipient's picture. They will be the same size as, and resemble, a driver's license, Rutherford said.
He hopes to have the new equipment in the very near future, he said.