By Chris Hamilton, Senior Vice President
West Virginia Coal Association
GILBERT â€“ In the fall of 2011, Mingo Central Comprehensive High School officially opened its doors to approximately 500 students from all across Mingo County.
Mingo Central is a comprehensive 9-12 high school on a beautiful 90 acre site along the King Coal Highway overlooking the mountains of Mingo County. It is a 172,535 square foot school containing approximately 60 classrooms, a dining room seating 488 students, a band room for 80 band members, an auditorium seating 400 people and a gymnasium seating 2,160 fans.
The state-of-art school is situated on a former surface mine that was responsible for the enormous amount of site preparation work and reconfiguring of the land to accommodate the school, access roads and necessary infrastructure. The new school is clearly developed into one of the premier high schools within our state.
Alpha Natural Resources and the School Building Authority joined local, county and state officials in developing this project and it is an excellent example what can be accomplished on former mine sites with careful planning and an eye towards the future.
Mingo Central Comprehensive High School becomes the latest edition to our stateâ€™s post mine land portfolio where a little vision, planning, local leadership and broad community support came together to create a state-of-the-state educational facility and the continued viability of a former mine site.
This site joins a growing number of public commercial, industrial and recreational facilities throughout West Virginia that is supporting a new found dimension of our stateâ€™s economy and job base.
In fact, the West Virginia Office of Coalfield Community Development reports more than 13.000 jobs have been created on post mine land sites. New uses for surface mined lands include residential development, tourism, energy, schools, government facilities and manufacturing.
Read more... [Restoration and Post-Mine Land Use]
GLEN JEAN â€“ As the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve (SBR) continues to take shape near Beckley, bringing the very center of the universe for Scouting to West Virginia, it is important to realize this world-class facility likely wouldnâ€™t have come to West Virginia had it not been for the land created there by former surface mining operations.
The SBR facility will encompass approximately 10,600 acres along the New River Gorge area. It will be the home of the National Scout Jamboree and the Summit High Adventure Base, as well as the National Center for Scouting Excellence. The site was formerly home to several old, abandoned mining facilities.
Read more... [The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve: Another Example of how Former Mine Land can be Put to Use]
A Few Examples of Post-Mine Land Use
- King Coal Highway/Coalfields Expressway
- McDowell County Industrial Park
- Mingo County Industrial Park/Airport
- Federal Prison (McDowell County)
- The Highlands/Cabelaâ€™s (Wheeling)
- Columbia Wood Products (Nicholas County)
- Bright Mountain (Nicholas County)
- Twisted Gun Golf Course (Mingo County)
- Pete Dye Golf Course (Harrison County)
- Southwest Regional Jail (Logan County)
- Logan Airport (Logan)
- Robert C. Byrd High School (Harrison County)
- Mount View High School (McDowell County)
- Mylan Park (Monongalia County)
- Beckley YMCA Soccer Complex (Raleigh County)
- FBI Complex (Harrison County)
- Mingo High School along King Coal Highway
- Morgantown Mall