Cameron High School Will Open Despite Structural Issues
By DREW PARKER
CAMERON — Despite some concerns and rumors of a possible closure circling amid this tight-knit community, Marshall County Schools officials said Cameron High School is safe — and will open for students next week.
Superintendent Jeffery Crook, along with Assistant Superintendent Corey Murphy, Cameron High School Principal Jack Cain and Maintenance Supervisor Ron Blatt held a news conference at the school Thursday to address the concerns, which Crook said have been circling on social media.
According to Crook, the building recently experienced soil settling, which sparked discussions suggesting it was not safe and that it would be closed. He said the West Virginia State Fire Marshal inspected the building last week and deemed it safe for the school year.
However, he acknowledged the building does have some cracks in flooring. Fire marshal officials also restricted the occupancy of the school’s library/media center to 25 people, as settling has caused problems with the room’s exit door.
“We’ve seen this come up on social media and we had a few people voice their concerns about it at board meetings,” Crook said. “We are doing everything in our power to make sure the school is safe, and that’s why we want to get the right message and information out there.”
Blatt said contractors will be visiting the school in the coming weeks to inspect the settling and work on the media center exit door in question, which currently does not open. He said the room has other working exit doors.
Cameron High School opened at its current site in 2012 and serves a little over 300 students in grades 7-12. Blatt said settling is fairly common for new and older buildings, but the administration is not sure of the cause at this point.
“We have a contractor looking into making the needed repairs for one of the the library exit doors,” Blatt said.
“We don’t know the cause of the settling yet, but we’re looking into what the cause may be.
“There are various settling issues in the surrounding area and on the road. We’re not sure if there’s something going on under the building — and we don’t want to point a finger to mining just yet.”
School Principal Jack Cain said he began to notice settling issues in May and notified the administration of the issue. Cain said the library capacity change will not affect any classes or programs.
“Everything is ready for the first day of school,” Cain said. “There are really no safety issues here.”
Students are scheduled to arrive for their first day Thursday morning.