Improvements under way at two area elementary schools

June 25, 2014
Construction at Claysville Elementary is in full swing while school is out for the summer. - Jim McNutt / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

Renovations are taking place this summer at Claysville and Joe Walker elementary schools to update the buildings and add increased security.

Scott Burchill, McGuffey School District’s business manager, said construction crews started making improvements to the buildings in May. Construction shifted into full gear June 16 once students left for summer vacation.

“The buildings were due for an update,” Burchill said.

Renovations to Claysville Elementary School, 119 Main St., include a new roof, new doors and hardware, new windows and work to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. Burchill said the renovations just happen to coincide with the expansion of the school’s parking lot. Property adjacent to the building was purchased and is being converted into 51 additional parking spots. Four of those new parking spots will be for the handicapped, Burchill said.

“We are also improving the handicapped accessibility to the building,” Burchill said.

At Joe Walker Elementary School, 2510 Park Ave, South Franklin Township, air conditioning is being added to the classrooms. New doors and hardware also are being added.

Billy Knott, an architect with HHSDR Inc., the Sharon firm making the improvements, said Claysville is getting new exterior doors and select interior doors. The new door hardware at both locations will be handicapped friendly and will lock from the inside. Knott said the windows on the first floor of Claysville will also be shatterproof.

“With all the school violence, we are adding the latest security measures,” Burchill said.

Both the parking project, which started this past winter, and the renovations are expected to be completed before school starts Sept. 2.

Burchill said the cost of the projects is a little more than $6 million. McGuffey School Board approved a bond issue in October to allow for the improvements. The bond, which is to be paid back over 25 years, also was used to purchase the land for the expanded parking lot.

Burchill said once the renovations at Claysville and Joe Walker are complete, the buildings within the district should be “good to go for quite some time.”

“We’ll at least have 10 to 15 years before we have to worry,” he said. “Then again, we are trying to stay ahead of the ball.”

Francesca Sacco joined the Observer-Reporter as a staff writer in November 2013, and covers the Washington County Courthouse and education. Prior to working with the Observer-Reporter, Francesca was a staff writer with a Gannett paper in Ohio. She graduated from Point Park University with a dual bachelor’s degree in print and broadcast journalism.

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