Reilly school repairs under way

SALEM — The track at Reilly Stadium has been back open for walkers and joggers, except during the hours from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. when it’s off limits so workers can finish repairs to the Reilly school building.

After an ornamental cornice from above a top floor window of the 95-year-old structure crashed to the track in late June, school officials closed the facilities to the public and sought out help from Lencyk Masonry. The Youngstown firm inspected the damage and a structural engineer was hired to determine a course of action.

Assistant junior high principal Todd McLaughlin, who oversees buildings and grounds as Clerk of the Works, explained that there’s an L bracket behind the cornices and the cornice in question started separating from the L bracket and water got behind there, causing the cornice to come loose.

On the advice of a structural engineer, in a proactive move, “we took out the rest of the cornices,” he said.

Jason Austin, assistant maintenance supervisor for the school district, explained that when masonry company workers removed some of the crumbling cornices, they found a fair amount of rust on the structural steel and were not comfortable just covering it up, causing a delay in the work.

That’s when the structural engineer assessed the situation and came up with a solution.

The steel was cleaned up and painted and now new stone is being put in place for the lower cornices which were all taken out. The upper cornices will remain but will be cleaned, sealed and caulked.

Austin said the company is back at it and work should be completed by the first football game on Aug. 25.

The work won’t interfere when classes resume at Reilly Elementary on Aug. 23.

“We’re ready for school to start,” McLaughlin said.

The field has already hosted some sporting events since the cornice crash, including the Star Trax 5K Night Run last Saturday night.