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Proposal for Triplett Tech wind device approved

By Kaitlin Mayhew -- kmayhew@nvdaily.com

WOODSTOCK -- The Shenandoah County School Board voted unanimously 6-0 to approve a proposal for construction of a temporary wind anemometer at Triplett Tech/Massanutten Regional Governor's School at its meeting Thursday.

The idea to build the tower has been in the works for some time, and was briefly discussed at the board's last meeting on Dec. 8.

The goal of having the anemometer at the school is to raise student awareness, and educate them about the benefits of wind energy, according to board documents.

The tower will be 66 feet tall and held up by 12 wires attached at three heights to the tower and connected to four anchor points in the ground.

The construction of the tower, according to the request documents, is estimated to last no more than 20 days. The estimated total cost for the project is $760.

However, the anemometer is to be on loan from James Madison University for up to one year, and the university will cover the building costs.

After the one-year period, the wind-speed data will be analyzed to determine if it would be possible to purchase a small wind energy system for the school, said Remy Pangle, director of education and outreach for the Virginia Center for Wind Energy at James Madison University in a statement about loaning the tower.

"I think we were pretty clear on how this was going to be utilized and it is a joint venture of Triplett Tech and MRGS, which is good we always like to see that happening," Superintendent Keith Rowland said.

The founders of the Skatetime program also made a presentation at Thursday's meeting addressing some of the concerns the board expressed at its Dec. 8 meeting.

Skatetime is a company that comes into schools with skating equipment and lesson plans that fit into any public physical education curriculum. It functions the same as any other segment in physical education class, usually lasting about two weeks.

The program was used previously in county schools such as North Fork and Peter Muhlenberg middle schools, and many gym teachers want to bring it back.

The proposal was first introduced at the last School Board meeting. However, many board members expressed concern about damaging the gym floors.

"Some of the floors we just had redone," said Irving L. Getz, the District 5 representative. "We need to ensure that we don't have to go back and do that again."

However, founders and owners Richard and Joyce Stanley assured the board that they have never had problems with floor damage in the past. They have been running the business for over 10 years.

"Our goal is to come into your facility and leave it just like we found it," Richard Stanley said.

Joyce also stressed how the program helps give young people a continued interest in physical fitness.

"There are two types of people in the world, the active and the inactive," she said.

"Activity in sports is fun and when you are having fun you are staying fit."

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