Cabell awarded $60K for school security cameras
HUNTINGTON — Cabell County Schools has been awarded a $60,000 grant through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to install new video cameras at four elementary schools — Altizer, Cox Landing, Hite-Saunders and Martha — as well as Cabell Midland and Huntington high schools.
The announcement came at Wednesday evening’s regular meeting of the Cabell County Board of Education in Huntington, which was postponed from Tuesday due to Election Day.
None of the four elementary schools listed currently have video cameras inside the building. The grant will allow for between 16 and 18 new cameras at each and will modernize the existing network at the high schools.
The updated camera system will allow central office staff to remotely view inside each school from Huntington, said Jedd Flowers, director of communications for Cabell County Schools. The cameras are expected to be installed over the winter.
The board also announced the former Park Hills Elementary School building will be publicly auctioned at 10 a.m. Dec. 5 at the facility, located at 2001 McCoy Road in Huntington. The sale is conducted by Joe R. Pyle Auction & Realty Service, of Shinnston, West Virginia.
The roughly 13,000-square-foot former school, which operated from 1964-89, most recently housed the state’s Regional Education Service Agencies (RESA) II branch for more than 25 years until the statewide RESA system was dissolved by the West Virginia Legislature in 2017. Cabell County Schools has owned the property since the building’s construction.
The property is zoned residential but may be grandfathered in as office space if maintained as that purpose within
the next eight months.
In other operational business, the board voted to move forward with the construction of “man-trap” double doors at Altizer and Spring Hill elementary schools by awarding the bid to ZMM Architects, which regularly completes projects for the district.
The two smaller, older elementary schools are some of the few in the county that do not have double-doored main entrances, which are designed to be remotely locked and keep out intruders.
Cabell County Schools was granted $256,000 in state funds by the School Building Authority in June for the new secure entrances at Altizer and Spring Hill. The county will contribute an additional $827,000 of its own funds to complete the projects.
The board also voted to purchase two additional maintenance vans — a KUV 1-ton van for plumbers and a Transit Connect minivan for technology. The combined price is estimated at $59,225.
In policy matters, the board ratified a second reading of an update that will expand its “area of critical need or shortage” in substitute teachers to include world languages, art, music and physical education.
County policy defines an area of critical need or shortage as “an area of certification and training in which the number of available substitute teachers in the county who hold certification and training in that area and who are not retired is insufficient to meet the projected need for substitute teachers.”
The county’s area of critical need for substitutes currently includes science, school nurses, special education, math and speech language pathology.
The board approved the first reading of the revision at the Oct. 16 meeting.
In other business, the board approved entering an interagency agreement with the Wayne Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Cabell County students will be allowed to observe and earn clinical training at the Wayne medical facility. The board has entered into similar interagency agreements with at least a dozen other local health care businesses.
The board also approved similar agreements for students to receive job experience at three local automotive shops — East End Body Shop, Keaton’s Collision Center and RMS Profinishers — as part of the county’s Powerful Partners program.
Cabell County Schools has long partnered with local businesses to provide learning experiences for vocational students and students with disabilities, most notably through its Powerful Partners agreements with more than 40 businesses in Cabell County including pharmacies, libraries, grocery stores, restaurants and retail stores allowing for work-based learning experiences through field trips, job shadowing, mentorships, internships or apprenticeships.
The Cabell County Board of Education next meets Nov. 20, and regularly meets the first and third Tuesday of each month. Meetings are always open to the public.