I had the opportunity this past week to again tour the new Cameron High/Middle School, only this time school was in session which gave those on the tour a different perception.
The most recent tour included several members of the county school's Pride and Progress committee, along with a few other individuals who were invited to get a first-hand look of this state-of-the art facility. The tour lasted 2 1/2 hours.
Where does someone start in comparing this structure with the old one?
Well, it is three times as large.
Everything, including sports facilities, is located within walking distance of the campus.
It has an auditorium, something that the former school didn't have. It has theater seating, along with state-of-the-art equipment. There is even a room off the stage area where props will be made. Plans are in the works for a spring production.
There are two gymnasiums compared to one, thus providing for easier scheduling of both high school and middle school. Principal Jack Cain explained that in the past students were practicing sometimes until 9 p.m., and now he is hopeful that practice sessions can be completed by 6 p.m. The larger gym will seat 1,000. The size of the large gym is such that the school will be able to play host to sectional and regional sporting events.
Of course, the large gymnasium is not limited to a playing surface, as it also has a catwalk, which can be used by the community in the evenings. Also, on this level there is a weight room, along with other fitness equipment.
As to the smaller gymnasium, known as the auxiliary gym, it seats 397.
With a bigger building, the classrooms are larger and has more storage space, which in turn will enable the rooms to be much neater.
While on the subject of classrooms, they are carpeted, which makes for a quieter environment.
Also, the classrooms have their own heat and air conditioning controls. Air conditioning was something the old school didn't have. The individual classrooms also have "Smart" boards with speakers.
It was pointed out that the school had 700 tons of steel, and that geometry classes could spend considerable time on different phases dealing with steel within the building.
The top floor utilizes skylights for lighting during daytime hours. There are other areas in the school which utilize sunlight when available.
In some of the areas of the school, there are sensors which turn on the lights when you enter a room, and shut them off when you leave a particular area.
Students in FFA, who will be showing and selling hams and bacons in March, are utilizing the equipment to prepare their items. This event will also include eggs.
Horticulture students were noted placing a plastic roof on the greenhouse where they will grow flowers which will be ready for sale prior to Mother's Day which is May 12.
The "Exergaming" room is one which our group was very interested. There has been a similar facility at the old school, but like other programs at the new school, it has been expanded.
Exergaming deals with fitness, and school trainer Gibbs Davidson is hoping to receive funding to enhance this program even more.
It involves the use of different types of fitness equipment, including videos.
Davidson recently conducted a study involving 15 students and was able to obtain information dealing with weight and other health-related issues.
While on the subject of Exergaming, the community will be able to use this program in the near future; the details are currently being worked out.
Our tour ended in the school cafeteria, where the students have a great view of the outdoors.
Cain said that hopefully in the near future a walking trail will become a reality. This would be at the rear of the school and would be an uphill walk to a level area.
As you might guess from this article, Cameron High School may be used as a model for other schools which might be built or renovated, especially in West Virginia.
The public is invited to attend a reception Tuesday evening honoring Scott Varner for his 20 years in state government.
The event will begin at 6 p.m. at the Moundsville-Marshall County Public Library and is being sponsored by the library board, and the Marshall County Democrat Executive Committee.
For more details call the library at 304-845-6911.