Officials Dedicate School Sunday

CAMERON – A new era officially gets under way in Cameron on Sunday, when representatives of all levels of government and the community gather to dedicate the new Cameron High/Middle School complex.

The event is set for 2 p.m. in the facility’s 375-seat auditorium. Marshall County Board of Education President Roger Lewicki will serve as master of ceremonies, and high school Principal Jack Cain will introduce participants. The school chorus, under the direction of Dirk Roe, will provide the music.

Among the guests expected to make remarks are state Sen. President Jeffrey V. Kessler, D-Marshall; Mary Jo Guida, regional representative for Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va.; Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va.; state School Building Authority Executive Director Mark A. Manchin; state Board of Education and SBA member Robert Dunlevy; Ernie Delatore of the architectural firm McKinley & Associates; George Leasure, president of Nello Construction, the general contractor; Bob Strickland, president of Project Construction Services; Bill Krieger, manager of operations for Williams Ohio Valley Mid Steam; Marshall County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director David Knuth; and Cameron Mayor Julie Beresford.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, refreshments and a tour of the facility will be offered.

The new school is a 130,000-square-foot facility – about three times larger than the old CHS building, which opened in 1956. The new building’s design includes exposed structural and mechanical systems that can be used as an integrated teaching tool.

The entire school has Wi-FI access, and there are interactive ”smart” boards in all classrooms. The school complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act with three elevators that provide access to four levels of the school. The old school was not handicap accessible.

One unique feature of the new building is the commercial-grade, U.S. Department of Agriculture-approved meat lab for food processing and comprehensive learning. This area has the latest in refrigeration and other state-of-the-art equipment, including conveyor systems for moving various cuts of meat.

The new school also offers “Exergaming” facilities for students and community exercise and wellness programs, coupled with interactive gaming.

The cafeteria provides seating that overlooks the existing athletic fields and views of the surrounding countryside.

The elevated jogging track and adjacent fitness rooms have drawn interest from visitors, as the ”track” will be available to community members.

The new facility has two gymnasiums with the larger one – 10,300 square feet with seating for more than 1,000 – being a collegiate-sized court, while the auxiliary gymnasium has a high school regulation-size court.

The official groundbreaking for the new school took place in Sept. 25, 2009, although site preparation began earlier that year. About 80 percent of the $31 million for building the school was provided by the SBA. Renzella said the taxpayers of Marshall County paid less than $6 million for the new school.