As construction of the new high school continues at a blazing pace Clarke County residents will soon be able to monitor progress 24 hours a day, seven days a week via the internet. On Monday night the Clarke County School Board approved funding for the purchase of a new “Weather Bug” station that includes a high quality video camera that will beam real-time video from the site to viewers around the globe.
Clarke County Public School Superintendent Dr. Michael Murphy told the School Board that the district’s long term plans, championed repeatedly by instructor Ed Novak, include the installation of a Weather Bug weather station at the new high school. Accordingly Superintendent Murphy applied for and received a $2,000 Safe Schools Grant for a Weather Bug station.
The new Weather Bug station will cost the school system $14,720 after deduction of the $2,000 grant.
In addition to live video of current weather conditions, the Weather Bug also includes a “lightning package” which will alert school officials when lightning is present near school facilities. The lightning notification feature will allow school officials to move outdoor activities, especially sporting events and practices, inside and away from danger when dangerous weather are in the area.
“Imagine being able to better protect our community from lightning, determine the weather at the new high school site anytime you want, save $2,000 in the process, and watch the new high school being built on a daily basis” Dr. Murphy said. “Sounds like a win-win for our Division and community.”
Although the actual weather station will not be installed until the new school is completed, Murphy proposed that the grant money be used to purchase the new Weather Bug equipment before the grant’s expiration on December 31, 2010.
“The station can be installed on a Shockey construction trailer now then moved to the new high school as it is nearing completion without voiding its warranty, and be value added both now and in the future” Murphy said.
Clarke County School Board chairman Robina Bouffault is working with Shockey to determine the feasibility of installation of the Weather Bug. The equipment requires a 110 volt power source, a secure place to mount and install the camera, access to the hardware for telecommunications cabling and, of course, permission from Shockey Construction.
An exact installation date for the new camera was not immediately available.