I had the opportunity on Wednesday to view up close the new Cameron High/Middle School construction and it was also that day the 68 members of the senior class visited the site, although they did no go inside the building.
Principal Jack Cain said CHS all students are looking forward to the day the doors open, especially the seniors who were at the ribbon cutting on Sept. 18, 2009, when the then-sophomores were assured they would be the first graduating class.
Cain said following their visit last week, at which time they had a class picture taken, he asked them what they are looking forward too most at the new school, with the majority stating the technology, while others said receiving their diplomas at the new school.
During my tour there were workers doing all types of work including laying block, pouring concrete, installing duct work, doing electrical and plumbing, and moving dirt outside.
Assistant Superintendent of Schools Wayne Simms said the number of block layers has increased in recent weeks to help make up for lost time caused by weather conditions, mainly rainy weather which delayed the roof installation. He estimates that the building, which is 138,000 square feet, is 80 percent enclosed.
As to the current workforce, it averages 100 per day.
He is hopeful that the weather during month of October will be such that the driveways and parking areas can be asphalted.
Everyone I spoke with said the weather - particularly the rain -has been the major problem, especially the past six months, with one workmen stating he has been in the construction business for 40 years and that he had never seen as much rain over such a long period.
Although meetings are held bimonthly to review the progress of the project, there will be a special meeting in mid-November at which time the major topic will be the completion date. The original date was late December or early January.
The city of Moundsville Building Commission will be meeting this week and one of the items on the agenda will be discussion and possible approval of the transfer of the Fostoria property to GAB, the firm responsible for razing the structures and clean-up of the grounds.
If the MBC members agree on the transfer, it would then come before city council which would make the final decision.
Some three years ago the city and the building commission co-signed an agreement with GAB, and in that document the property would be deeded to GAB once all the structures were razed, and the site prepared for tenants.
City Manager Allen Hendershot said since GAB does not currently own the property, the firm has met with some difficulty in negotiating with prospective tenants, and company officials believe they would be more successful in marketing the site if they had title to the property now.
The city became the owner of the property eight years after agreeing to assume liability for the seven-acre tract. Once the city assumed ownership, a building commission was created, as under the Brownfield and other funding sources, a building commission is authorized to apply for grants.
Also, in that same time frame the Marshall County Board of Education, the Marshall County Commission, the state of West Virginia and the city of Moundsville, all of which were owed back taxes on the property from the then-owner Lancaster Colony, agreed to waive the taxes as they were not receiving any money from the property.
Having been a part of a Fostoria volunteer committee in early 2000s, the main intent of the committee was to have the Fostoria buildings removed, and hopefully, of businesses and/or industries erected on the site.
The committee did receive three bids on razing the structures and these ranged from $1.5 million to $3 million.
Hendershot said the city has been fortunate that it has not had to spend a large amount of money toward the project, although city officials have put in many hours toward the effort. He noted that GAB has thousands of dollars invested in the project.
Well, today, I will be attending an "Old Timers" luncheon for those who have been employees of the News-Register and The Intelligencer for 25 years or more. Thus, it might be a good time to pass along an e-mail I recently received, the title of which is "Old Person's Pride."
The e-mail points out that being called an old person isn't actually a bad thing and it lists some of the reasons as follows:
"Old People" are easy to spot at sporting events; during the playing of the National Anthem, they remove their caps and stand at attention and sing without embarrassment. They know the words and believe in them.
"Old People" remember Pearl Harbor, World War II, Guadalcanal, Normandy and Hitler. They remember the Atomic Age, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Jet Age and the Moon Landing. They remember the 50 plus peacekeeping missions from 1945-2005, not to mention Vietnam.
If you bump into an "Old Person" on the sidewalk he/she will apologize.
"Old People" hold the door for the next person.
"Old People" have moral courage and personal integrity. They seldom brag unless it's about their children or grandchildren.
It's the "Old People" who know our great country is protected, not by politicians, but by the young men and women in the military serving their country.
This country needs "Old People" with their work ethic, sense of responsibility, pride in their country and decent values. We need them now more than ever. Thank God for "Old People."