By Rick Palsgrove
The leaky roof at Asbury Elementary School will be repaired this summer.
The Groveport Madison Board of Education approved a $582,427 plan with WTI-Tremco to repair and replace approximately 29,700 square feet of roofing over the main portion of the school.
Groveport Madison Director of Operations Dennis Harden said work on the roof will begin this summer after the school year ends. He said the work is expected to be completed before school begins again in the fall.
According to an inspection report regarding the aging roof, the roof and substructure have deteriorated and that previous repairs did not fix leaking problems, and may have made them worse, as water ponded on the roof surface and seeped into the building where it had to be caught by tarps beneath the roof deck and directed into sinks in the classrooms below.
Board member Nancy Gillespie said she admired the school’s staff for coping with the leaks as they did not let the problem interfere with the school day.
“The staff just kept it in stride and would just put another bucket out,” said Gillespie.
New computers for high schoolers
The board approved the purchase of 360 Chromebook computers for $82,440 along with $9,360 in software and $15,588 for 12 Chromebook carts for Groveport Madison High School.
Groveport Madison Communications Director Jeff Warner said the Chromebooks were needed to enable the high school students to prepare for the state standardized tests and to help shrink the testing window from 20 to 10 days.
Warner said other school buildings in the district are already using Chromebooks.
“Chromebooks are more efficient and less expensive,” said Warner. “The district likes to stay with a standard product for use throughout the district to maximize purchases. Plus, it enables the students to use the same technology throughout their academic career here. We’re moving toward having a 1 to 1 ratio of students to computers.”
Board member Bryan Shoemaker said the district is “three-fourths of the way there” to achieving that 1 to 1 ratio.
The board approved a new five year contract with Petermann LTD for transportation services for the district, which will run from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2021.
According to the agreement, the rates for service will increase annually by 3 percent starting the second year of the contract. Also, Petermann LTD will pay the district $150,000 per year to rent the district’s bus facility.
Groveport Madison Superintendent Bruce Hoover said the district spends $4.5 to $5 million annually on transportation services, which he said is less than in previous years.
Groveport Madison Treasurer John Walsh said the total amount per year the district pays varies based on the district’s needs.
“Year to date (July 1, 2015 to Feb. 29, 2016) we have spent $2.8 million (on transportation services),” said Walsh. “Last fiscal year we spent $5.6 million across all funds.”
Petermann owns the majority of the buses used to serve Groveport Madison. Walsh said the district still owns five buses, but a few of those are just used to move equipment, not carry students.
Hoover said the district has 67 school bus routes, which is down from 73 last year. He said the number of routes was reduced by restructuring routes and bus stops, which saved the district money.