This former elementary school is one of the more successful stories of school consolidation in the state and especially Lincoln County.
This was a
smaller elementary school located in the small town of Harts Creek. The smaller
elementary school was the only one in the area for several miles and, despite
the buildings age, remained open for quite some time after the 1982 Recht Decision,
which pushed a school consolidation spree for the county.
This school remained open until the
completion of Harts School PK-8 building in 2011. It was one of the last and
smallest elementary schools to remain open in the county. The smaller
population size in Lincoln County has caused many of the elementary schools and
middle schools to be combined into larger PK-8 schools to manage financial
This school is a great example of
how these older school buildings can be re-purposed to keep the tight-knit
communities alive. This particular building was bought and turned into a community
recreational center that provides daycare, a facility for after school sports,
and Cub Scout and Girl Scout meeting rooms. This has allowed the town to keep
some cultural identity after the consolidation.
Reynolds, David R. 1999. There Goes the Neighborhood: Rural School Consolidation at the Grass Roots in Early Twentieth-Century Iowa. Iowa: University of Iowa Press.
Triplett, Ralph D. and Triplett, Boone. 2013. Images of America: Lincoln County. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing.
Lincoln County Board of Education. Lincoln County Schools. http://boe.linc.k12.wv.us (accessed December 11, 2014).
Harris, Amy Julia. 2012. 1982 Recht Decision: State still rumbles from aftershocks of reform ruling. Charleston Gazette. http://www.wvgazette.com/News/201205120049 (accessed December 10, 2014).
The West Virginia Encyclopedia online, s.v. “Recht Decision,” http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/19 (accessed December 10, 2014).
West Virginia Research Legislature Auditor. Performance Evaluation and Research
Division. 2011. An Examination Of The Effects On Educational Outcomes From High School Consolidation: Lincoln County’s Experience. PE 10-21-488.
http://www.legis.state.wv.us/joint/perd/perdrep/DOE_1_2011.pdf (accessed December 10, 2014).
Brenda Powell (Executive Secretary Lincoln County Board of Education), interview by Heather Edwards, December 5, 2015, transcript.