MARTINSBURG, W.Va. —The resurrection of the cardinals mascot to high school athletics in West Virginia might not be as miraculous as a phoenix rising from the ashes, but the state’s official bird is set to return with the opening of Berkeley County’s fourth high school next year.
The mascot for the new Spring Mills High School was unanimously approved Monday by the Berkeley County Board of Education.
The seed-eating bird was the leading choice among more than 700 future students of the school, Berkeley County Schools Superintendent Manny P. Arvon said.
Arvon said no other high school in West Virginia currently has a cardinal for a mascot, but noted after the meeting that the bird was the mascot for Shepherdstown (W.Va.) High School before it consolidated with Charles Town and Harpers Ferry high schools to form Jefferson High School.
Finishing second in student voting on mascot names were the generals, followed by the colonials and pioneers, Arvon said.
The high school was expected to adopt the patriots as its mascot, but that choice was eliminated when a new school built in a county “next door” adopted it, Arvon said smiling without mentioning Washington High School in Jefferson County by name.
School board officials were told the new high school, which is set to open for students next fall, is about 60 percent complete.
Don Zepp, the school district’s school construction manager, said he hopes to have the building completed by mid-May.
“It will be a good-looking building,” Zepp said.
In other action Monday, Brechbill & Helman Construction Co. Inc. was selected by the school board as the general contractor for the new Gerrardstown, W.Va.-area middle school. The Chambersburg, Pa., company, which successfully bid $8,123,000 to build the school, was among six companies vying for the project, Zepp said.
Bids for plumbing, heating and air conditioning, electrical, fire suppression, food service and gymnasium equipment, wood casework and bleachers, also were awarded for the new school Monday night.
Altogether, the board awarded $14,627,162 in contracts, according to the project’s architect.
While there are bids that have yet to be awarded, the bid results received so far allowed the school board to add six additional classrooms to the project and terrazzo flooring.
“We are very pleased with the bids received,” Arvon said.