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McCorkle Elementary, now the McCorkle Community Center, is the school that started the domino effect of consolidation in Lincoln County.

  • McCorkle Elementary

            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. 

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. (accessed December 11, 2014). Harris, Amy Julia. 2012. 1982 Recht Decision: State still rumbles from aftershocks of reform ruling. Charleston Gazette. (accessed December 10, 2014). The West Virginia Encyclopedia online, s.v. “Recht Decision,” (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. (accessed December 10, 2014). Brenda Powell (Executive Secretary Lincoln County Board of Education), interview by Heather Edwards, December 5, 2015, transcript.