Mountaineer Challenge Academy will move into WVU Tech’s old campus

MONTGOMERY, WV (WOAY) – The old WVU Tech campus has remained vacant  for the past four years after the campus moved from Montgomery to Beckley. However, Governor Justice announced last night in his State of the State address that a National Guard Mountaineer Challenge Academy will take over most of the campus. 

 This will be a place for at-risk youth to be given a second chance at a high school diploma. Since WVU Tech moved to Beckley after over 100 years in Montgomery, the city’s been on a mission to make a comeback.

Montgomery Mayor Greg Ingram said they thought they had it when it was announced KVC Health Systems would be taking over the campus. 

“The fact that KVC was announced three or four years ago by the governor to come here and KVC came and we worked with them for about a year-and-a-half and their financing just didn’t pan out the way they wanted it to be and there were some other things but this is a little different situation,” he said. “This is government-backed. This is state-backed. This is a program for the kids.” 

For places like the Upper Kanawha Valley YMCA that was built on the promise of KVC coming, and then went on the financial decline when it fell through, the new academy will bring all kinds of opportunity for them as well.

“The Challenge Academy is going to need a recreational venue,” Director of Strategic Initiatives for YMCA of Charleston Clifton Moore said. “They may not need it everyday, all day but those parts of the day that they need it like for swimming and other kinds of physical activity like they have in regular high schools, then they can do that here. And we’ve talked about that on several occasions and we’re really excited to partner with them to make those kinds of opportunities available.”

The energy in Montgomery is enthusiastic as they look to house the state’s second Mountaineer Challenge Academy. 

“And it’s absolutely welcome in the City of Montgomery,” Mayor Ingram said. “They couldn’t pick a better place to do this.” 

Anna Saunders
Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.