If success has a thousand fathers and failure is an orphan, then the two biggest orphans in West Virginia may well be Alum Bridge Elementary in Lewis County and Troy Elementary in Gilmer County.
These two tiny schools with about 100 students each were not well maintained by their counties.
"In my nine years I've probably visited more than 50 percent of the schools in the entire state, and these two buildings were the worst facilities that I've ever stepped foot in," Scott Raines, director of architectural services for the School Building Authority told Ashton Marra of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.
The authority and the counties are changing that. The counties and the state decided to close both schools and replace them with a new school jointly run.
"The line goes smack dab through the middle of that site so when you put the school there, we'll put it on both sides. So, you can't get any better relationship, you can't get anything better than the school literally sitting in both counties," said Mark Manchin, executive director of the authority.
School bus routes will be about the same, with some children enjoying shorter rides to the new school, which should open after the Christmas break in 2014.
A council, made up of school and community officials on both sides of the county line, decided such things as the school's name, colors and motto. The council also helped design the school by choosing to have an art studio and music room instead of a library.
The school also won't have a media center, a room that computers have made obsolete.
What also is obsolete is the idea that children "belong" to a county. Students in the Leading Creek area do not belong to Lewis or Gilmer County under this arrangement.
If this project works, other cross-county schools could be in the offing.
That's good for taxpayers. Instead of having to spend money building two schools that are too small, the state and counties are building one that just may be the right size for an elementary school.