ALDERSON, WV (WVNS) – Officials in Alderson broke ground today on the new Alderson Elementary School.

The new Alderson Elementary School will remain right in the heart of the town, where Alderson schools have stood for generations. The new Elementary School will renovate and reuse the old Alderson High School building on Chestnut Avenue, which has served as a community center since the school closed.

Superintendent of Greenbrier County Schools Jeff Bryant said they plan to honor the history of both the town and the building as they start renovations.

“We’re going to do our very best to keep the past. Of course, the past will be polished,” said Bryant. “And the future will be some new additions, outside and inside.”

One primary concern with the location of the current Alderson Elementary School is that it sits on a floodplain, and could be heavily damaged in the event of a flood. The new location will alleviate those concerns, while also providing a dramatic upgrade to the facilities.

“In the recent past, we know Greenbrier (County) has had, you know, some flooding that’s happened. So to get a school facility out of the floodplain we’re providing a safe environment for the kids,” said Dana Womack, the Director of Architecture for the School Board Authority of West Virginia.

Superintendent Bryant added he is thrilled to be breaking ground for the new school, but he’s also proud to be keeping the school in Alderson. He says the town, which used to have its own middle and high schools, has a lot of pride in its local schools.

“It’s evident to me when you speak to the citizens, that they’re very excited and proud. It’s like they’re saying ‘thank you for remembering who we are,'” said Bryant. “So this is an identity that the town needs, and that’s played an important role in this. We need to give this town the life they deserve in the institution they cherish.”

The new Alderson Elementary School is expected to be open for classes by the fall of 2024.