McCorkle Elementary, now the McCorkle Community Center, is the school that started the domino effect of consolidation in Lincoln County.
This extraordinarily small
elementary school was located in the northeast part of Lincoln County in a very
small town. In housed only four classrooms. In the mid 1970s a woman named
Janet Pauley went to the school to attend a PTA meeting. She noticed that there
was sewage running across the playground and parking lot and felt that the
school was in deplorable conditions and something needed to be done about it.
She took her concerns to her attorney, Dan Hedges. They filed a class action
lawsuit against the Lincoln County Board of Education in 1975, arguing that
Pauley’s children and others were being deprived of a high quality education.
The suit remained in court for many years before the final decision was handed
down in 1982. The Recht Decision drastically changed the educational system in
West Virginia, creating education standards that each county needed to meet to
bridge the disparities between the counties. However, no funding plan was ever
enacted to carry out these standards, effectively leading to a mass
consolidation of school buildings across the county and state.
Since the school was closed in 1997,
the community has turned it into an impressive hub of activities. It was then
given to the Lincoln County Commission. It is now used for an Outreach Program,
open Monday- Friday, that provides clothing and pantry items for people in
need. They feed and provide services for about 300 people a week. A Meals on
Wheels program is also located in the center. East Lincoln County Crime Watch
and Southwestern Community Action Council also call the facility home. The
Facility can also be rented out for parties or events.