Renovations progressing at West Greene
Excavation work began on the construction of a $10.9 million addition to the West Greene Middle-Senior High School that will be the district’s new elementary center.
Bob Niedbala / Observer-Reporter
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ROGERSVILLE – Classes will begin Thursday at the West Greene Middle-Senior High School, the first day of classes for the district, even though some work remains to be completed on this summer’s renovation project.
“We’re counting on having school and we don’t anticipate any major problems,” Superintendent Thelma Szarell said at Thursday’s board meeting. The district developed backup plans to deal with any issues that may arise if work is not completed in any certain area of the building, she said.
Renovations to the school began last summer and continued this summer with the installation of a new heating and air conditioning system, electrical work and renovations to the kitchen, office of student services and the second floor of the south wing.
Don Lange, the district’s construction manager, told the board Thursday that contractors will be doing their final cleaning early next week. The building will be “thoroughly cleaned” and then will be inspected Wednesday by K-2 Engineers to make sure it is safe for the students’ return, he said.
Some work still remains to be completed. The air conditioning system, which is a new addition to the school, will not be functioning for the start of classes, Lange said.
Work also must be finished in several rooms on the second floor of the south wing and in the office of student services. Kitchen renovations are expected to be completed soon, but may not be ready for the first day, Lange said.
James Elsenheimer, the district’s new director of food services, said contingency plans have been made to feed students if the kitchen is not ready at the start of school.
The board approved a motion allowing contractors to conduct work after the first day of classes between the hours of 4:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. provided the work area is cleaned up before they leave each day.
Excavation work also started at the middle-senior high school on the new addition that will be the district’s new elementary center.
Lange reported about 30 percent of the excavation work is complete and materials have been brought to the school to form the retaining wall that will be constructed along the back of the building.
In other business, the board approved $7,770 payment to the MacBracey Corp., which provided seating for renovations to the auditorium. The board is retaining $9,400 from MacBracey until a dispute involving painting and the seats are resolved.
The board received an “action plan” from its architect, The Hayes Design Group, to resolving the issues with MacBracey. Part of a payment to the Hayes Design Group also was retained pending resolution of the matter.
Board member Kelly Loughman, who heads the board’s efforts to raise donations for the district’s capital programs, reported Consol Energy has agreed to partner with the district.
The company will be providing vouchers for free snacks at the concession stands during the Sept. 13 football game and will be making an announcement during halftime, she said.
Asked about copperhead snakes in the vicinity of the Springhill-Freeport school, elementary Principal Don Painter said staff is aware several of the snakes were killed in the area this summer and efforts have been made to keep snakes away from the building.
Administrators would review the protocol for dealing with such matters with staff before the start of school, he said.
The board, at a special meeting Aug. 15, hired an assistant middle-senior high school principal to replace Zachary Dillow, who resigned in July.
Jed Hamburger, a teacher in the McGuffey School District, was hired at a salary of $65,000. He will start in the district when his obligations to McGuffey are completed.
The board also hired four special education teachers, Eric Johnson, Nicole Redlinger, Doug Victor and Karyn Chojnicki.