CAMERON - Dozens of people were thanked Sunday for their help in getting the new $31.8 million Cameron High and Middle School complex built, including members of the board of education, local and state politicians and workers involved in physically building the structure.
However, the person receiving the largest applause when introduced was Mark Manchin, executive director of the West Virginia School Building Authority. In fact, a recording of his favorite song, "Stayin' Alive" by the BeeGees was played.
While the agency he represents provided some $24 million toward the Cameron project, Manchin said jokingly, "Yes, the SBA did provided a little bit of money toward the project."
Photo by Jim Cochran
West Virginia School Building Authority Executive Director Mark Manchin, left, and Senate President Jeff Kessler, seated center, listen Sunday during the dedication ceremony for the new Cameron high and middle school.
Manchin encouraged the Marshall County Board of Education to seek SBA funding rather than put money from a 2006 bond issue into the half-century-old existing school building. This recommendation was made while he was touring the old Cameron High School with members the board, along with Marshall County Superintendent of Schools Fred Renzella and Assistant Superintendent of Schools Wayne Simms.
"Although there were some concerns during the construction phase with the work not being on time, hopefully this will soon be forgotten, if it hasn't already," Manchin said. "Everyone pulled together, and today we are able to take part in the dedication of this state-of-the-art structure."
Manchin went on to say that it is not uncommon for projects in which the SBA is involved to not be on a time schedule which had originally been projected. Describing the school as "gorgeous," Manchin said some of the components of the new Cameron school will be looked at in other school projects throughout the state.
Senate President Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, said although it was St. Patrick's Day he was not wearing any green. Instead, he proclaimed Sunday "blue and gold day," the Cameron school colors. He said he was very pleased to have the opportunity to take part in the dedication and commended other members of the legislature in attendance for helping to provide money to fund quality not only in Marshall County but throughout the state.
Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., commended members of the Marshall County Board of Education for their vision, which he said will not only be helpful to students now but in generations to come.
"Marshall County and other school systems in the area do not have to take a back seat to any school system," McKinley said.