Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

July 21, 2013

Demolition begins on old Anawalt Elementary

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

ANAWALT — One of the oldest school buildings in McDowell County is coming down.

Demolition crews have arrived at the site of the old Anawalt Elementary School. The contractor is expected to have the structure down in a couple of weeks, according to School Superintendent Nelson Spencer.

The old elementary school was built in the early 1920s. The state fire marshal ordered the facility closed in July 2012 for health and safety reasons. Students in Anawalt are currently attending school in a state-of-the-art modular building located on the lower parking lot area of the school grounds.

“Demolition of the old building is underway,” Spencer said. “The asbestos abatement is underway. I actually went there last Friday.”

Spencer said the demolition of the actual structure will begin as soon as the asbestos abatement project is concluded.

Once the old school is torn down, the area will be used as a larger playground.

Spencer said Sen. Bill Cole, R-Mercer, is seeking state grant funding for new playground equipment that the school system hopes to place at the site of the old school.

“We hope to get Anawalt some new playground equipment,” Spencer said. “But we will have a playground there either way.”

School officials say the modular classrooms will be used in Anawalt until the school system can come up with an alternative school construction plan for the old Adkin’s District area of McDowell County.

— Contact Charles Owens at