ELYRIA — It’s one of those rare moments when residents can actually watch their tax dollars at work. Administrators at Elyria schools have installed four webcams that offer live, real-time video surveillance of the construction at the new Elyria High School site.
The four cameras were mounted on the south side of the current high school — atop the Technical and Lincoln buildings — facing toward the homes that are being torn down between Sixth and Seventh streets.
The district installed the first two cameras in November, and the last two cameras recently, said Amy Kren, Elyria Schools spokeswoman.
Viewed in four frames, the cameras collectively assemble an approximate 180-degree view of Sixth Street stretching from Middle to West avenues.
The video feed from each camera is pumped into the Web site for the new Elyria High School — www.anewelyriahigh.org — and users can click on a link to have all four live videos pop up on their computer screen.
“The majority of the construction will take place right there, at least for the first couple years,” Kren said. “So we’ll be able to capture a lot of that.”
The cameras will be in place until late 2010, when the current high school is scheduled for demolition.
Each video camera captures 24 images per second and also stores one image every 100 seconds, said Brian Kokai, data services director for Elyria Schools.
After four or five years of construction, the stored images will be reassembled to create time-lapse videos that show the construction of the first phase of the new high school from beginning to end, Kokai said.
The live-video feed at the Web site isn’t the only feature that school officials hope residents will take advantage of.
Kren said a blog on the site invites residents, school officials and others to create an ongoing, virtual dialogue.
“They can ask questions, and (school officials) can blog and answer questions,” Kren said. “It’s a nice function if people use it. We’d like to see them take advantage of it.”
Contact Shawn Foucher at 329-7197 or firstname.lastname@example.org.