CAMERON - With less than three weeks until students are scheduled to enter the new Cameron High School for the first time, officials last week recapped the work that remains to be completed.
Allen Street, project superintendent for Project and Construction Services, said though the school received approval from a West Virginia fire marshal to open, work still needs to be completed in the coming weeks. Because of that, he said keeping people out of the school remains important.
"We want to continue to limit the amount of people in here until Dec. 27 to ensure we get it completed," he said. "We don't want students in here because there are still too many places to get hurt."
Street said cleaning the building will become a priority, as the amount of debris and dust in the school has been recirculating through the HVAC system. He said though crews have cleaned the four main sections of the school a few times already, a final cleaning will need to happen once new temporary filters are put in place, and then again once permanent filters are installed.
"We are in good shape in terms of cleaning because we've stayed on top of it," he said.
The fire marshal will return to the school Dec. 27, at which time Street said he expects the main gymnasium to be approved for use. Additionally, he said two outstanding projects ordered by the fire marshal are in the process of being completed: one involves emergency lighting in the auditorium, which Street said is expected to be finished by Jan. 12, while the other involves railing on the outside of the building.
"We have made temporary repairs to that railing, and when we were told we needed to make changes by the fire marshal on Dec. 4, we ordered the parts immediately," he said, adding the installation of those pieces will not affect the opening of the school or safety of students.
Other cosmetic work remains, though Street assured members of the Marshall County Board of Education that none of it interferes with the school's safety.
"In our eyes it isn't completed because it needs cleaned or polished, but in the eyes of the fire marshal, it meets code," he said.
Over the next week, crews will work to install Smartboards in every classroom, and will also mount the 138 cameras inside of the building. Street said that work was pushed back to allow his workers to focus on getting the fire alarm and sprinkler system up to code.
Marshall County Schools Assistant Superintendent Wayne Simms said a tentative plan calls for students to begin their school day Jan. 3 at the existing Cameron High School before making their way to the new building in groups in an effort to limit confusion. School officials, including Cameron High School Principal Jack Cain, said he and his teachers will work throughout the Christmas break to prepare for that day.
"We're ready to be in here," he said.