Gov. Justice signs bill providing over $3 million to West Virginia National Guard for use at Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy – South

MONTGOMERY, WV — Gov. Jim Justice held a signing ceremony today for Senate Bill 1038, which provides a $3,039,900 million supplemental appropriation to the West Virginia National Guard for use at the Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy – South (MCA South), located in Montgomery, and elsewhere.

The Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy, which has now graduated over 5,000 West Virginians, is designed to give academically challenged teens a second chance at obtaining their basic education. 

“These young men and women face challenges today that most of us never had to deal with growing up,” Gov. Justice said. “This academy is changing lives for the better and giving many of these kids a second chance. When I think about our West Virginia National Guard, I salute them over and over. I cannot thank them enough for everything they do, including their incredible work here at MCA South. With this bill, we are going to make it even better.”
The funding will allow MCA South to repair outdated HVAC systems, upgrade security equipment, and improve cadet living conditions by renovating outdated latrines and water waste systems.

The academy, which is housed at the former location of West Virginia Tech, has experienced problems with aging facilities since the college closed in 2015.
The state allowed the National Guard to gain control of these facilities in 2018 to establish a second Mountaineer Challenge Program in Montgomery, in addition to the main Mountaineer Challenge Academy in Kingwood. 

The mission of the Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy is to train and mentor selected at-risk youth to become contributing members of society using the Eight Core Components in a quasi-military environment during a 22-week residential and one year post-residential follow-up program.