BOE gets update on district buildings

SALEM — School board members heard an update recently on work done at the district’s four education buildings this summer, along with projects yet to come as part of the district’s ongoing maintenance program.

“I thought we had a pretty productive summer,” said Salem City Schools maintenance supervisor Jason Austin.

Austin provided a list to board members last week during a Building & Grounds Committee meeting attended by all five board members, along with administrative staff.

Summer is when the maintenance crew is able to do big projects while students and staff are taking time off.

The list included the normal and not-so-normal, from painting classrooms and refinishing gym floors to removing an underground diesel tank from the high school and replacing 100 feet of 3-inch steam line at Buckeye Elementary. Austin said that was the only real surprise because they weren’t expecting to have to repair that much of the steam line which is part of the school’s heating system. The estimate for the cost of the steam line had been $80,000 but the actual cost was closer to $92,500.

He reported an underground diesel tank was removed at the high school. All soil tests came back negative for tank leakage. The Bureau of Underground Storage Tanks Regulation through the Ohio Department of Commerce oversees underground fuel tanks and issued a statement stating no further action was required.

Austin reported that he’s been replacing some of the lights in the different buildings with LED, noting the cost is coming down and the light quality is better than fluorescent bulbs.

LED lighting and a new suspended ceiling were installed in the choir room at the high school. Other projects at the high school included a new concrete pad, sidewalk and dock poured and sealed, the painting of the parking lot, replacing floors in four classrooms, pressure washing the library alcove, painting seven classrooms and the library and refinishing the gym floor.

At Southeast Elementary, the north hallways were painted, the gym floor refinished, a new projector screen installed in the gym and the front bus loop asphalt was repaired.

At Reilly Elementary, new carpet was installed in the old computer lab and that classroom and the storage room were painted, exterior railing and the entrances were painted and the office air conditioner was reinstalled to shed water and the wall was repaired and repainted.

At Buckeye, two rooms were repainted and had new casework and new flooring installed. New flooring was also installed in the office, new casework was installed in the teacher work area, a leak in the cast iron drain pipe in the basement was repaired and the front chain link fence was removed.

In talking about what is to come, Austin said there is an estimated $100,000 worth of roofing left to do at the high school. The steam line issue at Reilly needs addressed. The parking lots need some work. He said the parking lots aren’t in bad shape but if they don’t start putting some money in them every year, they’ll end up with a large bill.

Board President Steve Bailey asked Austin to put together a plan for the parking lots so they can prioritize and see the cost for each of them. He also asked for a cost for door and door hardware.

In an update on work around the stadium, it was reported that two lots on Ohio Avenue next to Reilly Stadium have been surveyed and the trees will be removed near the visitor’s bleachers. A property owner on another lot gave permission for the district to trim a tree that’s hanging over the visitor bleachers.

In other building business, which was discussed at a special meeting, board members heard a report on available space at the various buildings, hearing that adding a classroom at Buckeye by redefining the use of a room isn’t going to help because they’ll face the same problem at Reilly and then Southeast. The only way to add another classroom would be to take over a room that’s already in use as something else, which would not be a very popular decision. No action was taken regarding the space issue.