CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Members of the Kanawha County Commission voted Thursday to give $100,000 for a new day-care facility in Clendenin.Jack Suttle and Kay Summers, of the nonprofit group 25045-A New Clendenin, said the money will be used to add a day care to the old Clendenin High School building, which currently houses apartments for senior citizens and a health clinic.Built in 1912, the building housed Clendenin High School until the 1960s. It was used as Clendenin Middle School until finally closing for good in 2000. It sat rotting away until 2003, when community leaders formed 25045-A New Clendenin to try to save the old building and spur economic development in Clendenin.Contractors finally broke ground on renovations to the building in 2010, and it opened in 2011. Kay Summers, vice chairwoman of A New Clendenin, said 17 of the building's 18 apartments are currently occupied. The health clinic, operated by Cabin Creek Health Care, has gone from nine employees to 39. The former high school and middle school also has a renovated gymnasium.
Summers said employees from the PATCH 21 system would staff the new day-care facility. PATCH operates preschool, day care and after-school programs in Roane, Jackson, Clay and Mason counties.Summers said there is already a waiting list to get into the day-care program. She said the program will employ eight full-time and six part-time workers, and will have room for 60 children. Those with A New Clendenin hope to add an after-school program once the day care is up and running.Also Thursday, commissioners approved spending $17,000 to buy a camera system so the sheriff's department can offer concealed weapons permits with photographs on them."Most of the sheriffs around the state are doing it," Sheriff Johnny Rutherford said. Putnam County recently added photographs to concealed weapons permits as an option.Rutherford said the department would offer concealed weapons permits with a photo ID as an option for a small additional fee. "We're not going to make anybody do it," he said. "It's not mandatory."Currently, concealed weapons permits are printed on a card about 6 by 8 inches in size, though sheriff's departments will also laminate a smaller copy that can be carried in the permit holder's wallet.Rutherford said a lot of people want a concealed weapons permit with a picture on it."Most people who come in [for a permit] want a smaller card that will fit in your wallet," he said. "And they want a picture. This will be just like your driver's license."Reach Rusty Marks at firstname.lastname@example.org