Improvements made at many schools over summer break

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By Dedra Cordle
Staff Writer

It was another busy summer construction season in the South-Western City Schools District.

At the Aug. 26 board of education meeting, Deputy Superintendent David Stewart announced that more than a dozen buildings had received major or minor improvements over the course of summer vacation.

The schools that received the most extensive repair work was Grove City and Westland High Schools, which saw the replacement of significant portions of the building’s roof.

When it comes to major repairs such as roof replacement, Superintendent Dr. Bill Wise said they always hold their breath because it can unveil more intensive or immediate repairs. That was not the case, however, with these two buildings.

“There were minimal unforseens,” he said.

Another school that received a roof replacement was East Franklin Elementary, which also received new windows throughout the building.

Additional elementary schools that saw improvements were Buckeye Woods and Darby Woods. The work at Buckeye Woods included the installation of new concrete at the dock walls, the installation of interior pod entry doors with lockdown capability, and an upgraded heating and cooling unit. Darby Woods also received those upgrades, minus the heating the cooling unit repairs.

Receiving minor repairs to the playground was Highland Park, J.C. Sommer, Monterey and Richard Avenue.

Board member Lee Schreiner said he was glad to hear that the rubber pellets at these playgrounds were replaced with tiles. He remarked that they looked “great.”

Several intermediate and middle schools received minor repairs: Franklin Woods and Park Street had their buildings power washed, while Galloway Ridge and Jackson Middle had new asphalt installed at the bus lot and pathway entrance at the front and back of the building, respectively.

At the high school level, Central Crossing received painting upgrades and the South-Western Career Academy had safety strobe horns installed in their labs. In addition to the roof replacements, Grove City also had its underground sanitary lines replaced, partial sidewalk and curb replacements and flooring improvements in the kitchen area.

According to Mark Waller, the district’s coordinator of property services and construction projects, the district spent $8.2 million on these repairs. The money, he wrote, was from bond issues and permanent improvements.

Next summer will also be a busy construction season, said Stewart. In the summer of 2020, the district will break ground on phase two of the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission project. That project will oversee the replacement of Brookpark, Finland, Norton and Pleasant View middle schools, as well as further repairs to Jackson Middle and East Franklin Elementary.

Stewart also reported to the board that they received approximately 2,000 new student enrollments to the district for the 2019-2020 school year. He said official enrollment numbers will be available later this year.

He also told the board that each of the buses have been “stickered,” which means every one of the 210 buses has passed inspection from the Ohio Department of Transportation.

In other meeting news, Carl Metzger, the assistant superintendent of personnel, gave a staffing update to the board. According to Metzger, the district has 2,763 certificated and classified employees. Of those, 1,722 are certificated (1,619 teachers, 103 administrators) and 1,041 are classified.

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