WEST LIBERTY – A lot of work to get the West Liberty-Salem Local Schools building ready for the first day of school, Sept. 19, was completed, but there were hiccups.
Superintendent Kraig Hissong said the kitchens were not ready Monday and Tuesday for students, so Pizza Hut pizza was taken in for lunch. But things smoothed out later in the week.
The district is in the middle of a building project that is adding classroom space, putting in a second driveway and renovating the building, among other improvements. The district pushed back this year’s school start date and extended school days to give contractors more time to do work on the “core” parts of the building in the summer, which includes gymnasiums, the cafetorium and office areas.
A couple of weeks before school was to start, project managers told the school board of the effort contractors were putting in to get the building ready. Contractors were working seven days a week in 10-hour shifts.
Though the kitchens were not ready, teachers and staff were, Hissong said, and students were OK with the change.
“Reaction from students has been very positive and classrooms are running smoothly,” he said. “So far, the largest reaction from families has been the new drives and traffic flow. Things are going much smoother with the new drives and the parent drop-off area.”
The project added a second entrance to the school for bus drop-off and pickup, which separated traffic for parent drop-off from buses.
The creation of a second entrance helped with traffic flow. Hissong said both entrances were open for the first day of school, though a final layer of asphalt needs to be put down on U.S. Route 68.
There are two phases left for the project to complete the elementary wings for the fourth and fifth grades, and the second and third grades. One of the two phases is expected to be completed in November, and the other in April, Hissong said.
School board buys furniture
The school board approved a $47,569.61 purchase to finish replacing furniture for the elementary school at its Tuesday board meeting. The purchase is funded through “Locally Funded Initiatives” dollars for the building project. This furniture was not covered in the furniture allowance provided by the building project. It will complete the elementary furniture replacement for grades 4 and 5, Music, Art, Gifted and Special Education classrooms in the 4-5 hallway.
In other action, the board:
•Accepted the resignation of cafeteria worker Anita Selfridge, effective Sept. 6, 2016.
•Approved Anthony Creamer as contractor for snow removal and salt application for the 2016-17 winter season. Creamer had the lowest bid and has done it for two years at the district.
•Approved Rex Stapleton move from the Masters to the Masters (MA+) column of the negotiated salary scale, effective the 2016-17 school year.
•Approved Corky Detwiler for the 1.5-hour food service cashier position at Step 1 for the 2016-17 school year.
•Approved all high school staff attending the Schoology training for preparation for the high school iPad program. All teachers in attendance will receive $50 for their participation in three hours of training outside the regular work day on Sept. 1.
•Approved payment for leadership training for staff on either Schoology ($50) or Office 365 ($150) and for leading professional development on these topics for school staff.
•Approved the permanent appropriations for the 2016-17 school year in the amount of $28,898,465.36 for all funds.
•Accepted donations of $5,000 from Douglas Williams for band, $75 from an anonymous donor for golf, and $100 from Dave Finney for boys and girls soccer.
•Approved the new depository agreement with Peoples Savings & Loan Company from Sept. 6, 2016 to Sept. 6, 2019.
•Approved hiring Matt Sertell as part-time paraprofessional at Step 4.
Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.