Improvements made at West Jefferson school facilities

(Posted Nov. 15, 2018)

By Linda Dillman, Staff Writer

School security, safety and system upgrades in Jefferson Local Schools over the last year, coupled with renovations to a sports venue, kept facilities and transportation Director Bob Hiss busy over the past year.

“We’ve done a lot of repairs on large projects,” Hiss said at the Jefferson Local Schools Board of Education meeting on Nov. 12.

The running track in the stadium was replaced and renovations made to the existing shot put and long jump pits. Hallways and classrooms were painted.

In addition to installation of three additional key fob access points, a control system in the high school gymnasium was upgraded and new cleaning equipment using water instead of chemicals was purchased.

Recurring roof leaks at Norwood, coinciding with parapet walls not properly flashed, were repaired and a long-time smelly issue at the elementary building was fixed.

The sulfur-like smell at the school, ongoing since 2005, was finally traced to incomplete plumbing, Hiss reported.

“I don’t know how long we complained about the smell,” said Principal Sue Barte. “That was great getting it fixed.”

According to Hiss, on Sept. 17 a water line in a second-story drinking fountain at Norwood split, flooding the hallway. He said water restoration was completed in one day and total restoration is now 95 percent complete, except for a few bookcases damaged by the water.

In reporting on future projects, Hiss said a redesign of the football press box is moving ahead. Meetings were held in May and September and electrical drawings are being prepared for final review.

Discussions included the needs of football personnel, including the home team and visitors, the overall dimensions of the press box and conceptual design.

The current press box could be expanded by an additional eight feet. The two-story structure would house two rooms on the first level, one larger and another smaller one. The second story, flanked by a wall of windows, would be completely open for home team use.

“There’s more headroom and more viewing space,” said Hiss.

Other news

Superintendent William Mullett shared his appreciation for the passage of a ballot issue renewing a 1 percent earned income tax for seven years.

It was the first renewal of the original, five-year income tax that expires on Dec. 31, 2019. The tax—projected to bring in approximately $1.6 million—is on earned income only and does not apply to social security, pensions, unemployment and certificates of deposit or savings accounts.

Unlike the West Jefferson village income tax, the school tax only impacts residents of the school district.

“I want to say a big thank you to our community for their support,” said Mullett. “And I want to build on the trust we have with our community.”

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