The Marlinton Middle School student body and Copperhead Council open the new computer lab with an official ribbon cutting ceremony. Ready for the big reveal are, from left: principal Dustin Lambert, Hannah Burks, council secretary Kynlee Wilfong, Haley Spencer, study body president Braedan Hayhurst, student body vice president Robert Pritt, Kaylee Pritt and Noah Nutter.

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

After nearly six months of hard work by several school employees, students and volunteers, Marlinton Middle School’s brand new computer lab was unveiled in a ribbon cutting ceremony last Wednesday.

The student body gathered in the hallway outside of the lab to celebrate the achievement and listen to comments made by principal Dustin Lambert.

“I’m really excited about this moment,” Lambert said. “We’re opening our new computer lab today, and this is a very special moment because we have a responsibility to you as educators to afford you every possible avenue of technology that we can so you can be afforded a 21st century learning. In 2016, when I came to Marlinton Middle School, I set a goal to secure another desktop computer lab – today that goal is being fulfilled.”

The lab was funded by a $15,000 Tools for Schools grant which funded a total of 29 brand new desktop computers – 24 in the new lab and five in the other lab.

The brand new computer lab at Marlinton Middle School has 24 desktop computers ready to help the students make the grade. S. Stewart photos

Lambert told the students they were worth the effort and money put into the lab, but they also have a responsibility to treat the lab properly and keep the computers in working order.

“You, as students, deserve every penny we have invested into this room because you are worth it,” he said. “Every single one of you. Don’t you ever forget it. As this is a computer lab here to serve the academic needs of you as students, each one of you has a responsibility to keep this lab in the pristine condition it is today. Treat each machine in this lab as if it were your own, so many more students behind you can enjoy this computer lab in the future.”

A lot of hard work and volunteer hours went into creating the lab and Lambert thanked everyone involved including director of technology Ruth Bland, Tigo Schauffler of CDW-G, Sam Gibson, Gary Beverage, Nancy Martin, Roy Shearer, Ollie Barkley, Mark Walton and the MMS computer science class.

Lambert also thanked Delores Cutlip of the Flower Garden for donating the ribbon for the ceremony and art teacher Margaret Baker for making oversized scissors for the photo-op.

“I want to extend my appreciation as well as the appreciation of this school to the board of education for securing the funding needed for this project and for the speedy nature of ordering and delivering the computers to MMS,” Lambert said. “I had my doubts that this was going to be completed in time for state testing and here we are two to three months before state testing, and we have it.

“I would personally like to thank the faculty and staff here at Marlinton Middle School for being patient as this project became a reality.”

Lambert then turned the program over the student body president Braedan Hayhurst, who cut the ribbon, signifying that the computer lab was officially open.