New Albany News

$434K approved for school facility work this summer


The New Albany-Plain Local school board last week approved funding for summer improvements to several facilities, including safety and security upgrades at two more school buildings.

The board on June 10 approved a total of $434,000 for the projects.

Corna Kokosing will be paid $150,000 to complete security improvements at the high and middle schools.

Michael Sawyers, the district's chief of operations and strategic development, said the district would expand the west entrance to the high school quad by moving the two entrance pillars father apart.

The request had been made by the Plain Township Fire Department several years ago because the brick pillars make it impossible for an emergency vehicle to access the quad.

Sawyers said the gate between the pillars would be closed and locked to provide better security, and a K-12 welcome center will be installed in the west entrance to the high school gymnasium. It will require converting a former ticket booth into an office, he said.

Sawyers said the welcome center would serve as a secure entry to the high school and provide residents with one place to register students for all grades and all buildings, rather than the current process of registering students at each school.

Visitor parking will be moved and signs will be installed so parents can find the new facility, Sawyers said.

The $150,000 also will be used to install a garage door at the High Street annex building. The door is needed because the district is using the annex for custodial storage.

Work at the middle school will include a secure vestibule with a buzzer for visitors, Sawyers said.

A.J. Asphalt of Columbus will be paid $240,000 to repave the New Albany High School student parking lot.

Sawyers said the parking lot would have to be milled, repaired and repaved. He said it is a project that has been put off and needs to be done now.

Sawyers said workers hoped to begin construction last week and be done prior to the city's Fourth of July celebration, which is held at the New Albany High School football stadium. The student parking lot is on the west side of the stadium and provides parking for the event.

Sawyers said drainage under the parking lot also would be improved.

The board also approved $44,000 to install acoustic panels in the high school's Jefferson Room and the 2-5 elementary cafeteria.

The panels will be installed by the Ketchum and Walton Co. of Columbus.

School board member Laura Kohler said she is glad to hear about the improvements to the Jefferson Room.

All projects are expected to be completed this summer, Sawyers said.