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HUNTINGTON — Cabell County Superintendent Ryan Saxe has released more details about how the district plans to use COVID-19 relief funding to benefit student learning opportunities.

Saxe gave the report during the regular meeting of the Cabell County Board of Education on Tuesday.

Cabell County was granted more than $17 million from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSERF), but it wasn’t clear how it would be spent until Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of Education awards these grants to state educational agencies (SEAs) for the purpose of providing local educational agencies (LEAs), including charter schools that are LEAs, with emergency relief funds to address the impact COVID-19 has had on elementary and secondary schools across the nation.

One major expenditure out of the funding will be a contract with Apple to update many of the electronic devices that are used across the district. The contract is worth $4,937,390 and will be used to update hardware and services.

That contract was unanimously approved by board members during the meeting.

Director of Technology and Information Systems Jason Jackson said it will cover the cost of upgrades that would have occurred in the coming months, over the summer and into the fall, but they are getting ahead of their initial timeline due to funding that became available from the federal government.

Saxe said, too, that the funding will be used to provide a new summer learning experience, Cabell Schools Reconnected, which will provide new programs that will be available to all students in the district, which wouldn’t have been possible without the funding.

One other expenditure that was approved by board members Tuesday was the purchase of a TI Nspire CXII calculator class set for Cabell Midland and Huntington high schools, Crossroads Academy and the Cabell County Career Technology Center for a cost of $152,411.70.

The gymnasium at Barboursville Middle School will undergo renovations to the gym floor beginning in May. Board members approved a contract worth $351,000 with Cincinnati Floor Co. to do the work. That project will be funded through the Permanent Improvement Fund.

A handful of maintenance vehicles no longer used by the school district will be auctioned off. That auction will take place online at governmentauction.com.

In other business, the BOE recognized winners from the 2020 SCORES competition at Marshall University. Huntington High School students took home first-place awards in two categories, Television Newscast and Short Screenplay, and were commended for their efforts.

Luke Creasy is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook @HDcreasy or reach him by phone at 304-526-2800.

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