Tables for a newly completed cafeteria expansion at Shanahan Middle School were among the purchases approved this month as summer capital improvements continue in the Olentangy Local School District.

Tables for a newly completed cafeteria expansion at Shanahan Middle School were among the purchases approved this month as summer capital improvements continue in the Olentangy Local School District.

At a July 9 meeting, school board members approved the purchase of replacement furniture for various schools, including more than 100 lunch tables for Shanahan and other schools, totaling $42,793.

Previously, the Shanahan cafeteria lacked enough seating, and the crowded space made it difficult for students to get through the lunch line in time to eat. The expansion, which adds enough room for a third lunch line, was completed this month and makes Shanahan the district's largest middle school.

"The new cafeteria is going to be a great asset for those students," Superintendent Wade Lucas said.

Also approved at the July 9 meeting was a purchase totaling $27,096 for magnetic door-release mechanisms, which will be installed at all of the district's elementary schools.

The additions will make it easier for disabled students to enter and exit school buildings, which now keep the doors locked during the school day, said Communications Director Karen Truett.

The board also approved contracts for the construction of three bike paths, totaling $78,995, at Liberty Tree and Oak Creek elementary schools, as well as a connecting path between Shanahan Middle School and Olentangy High School.

Board member Adam White voted against all the purchases, saying the district should use funds to eliminate student fees before approving capital purchases.

The bike paths were part of a $1.1 million capital improvements plan slated for the summer, which includes paving and lighting installations.

It also includes the replacement of the heating and cooling system for the district's OASIS alternative education center, approved by the school board for $92,835 at its June 20 meeting.

The work is necessary to replace a worn-out heating and cooling system in the building, which is located behind Shanahan Middle School.

"OASIS continues to grow, so this is one of those good problems to have," Lucas said

An unforeseen repair job also was approved at the June 20 meeting after the gym floor at Walnut Creek Elementary School sustained some water damage last month.

Officials said the damage occurred due to a combination of high humidity and a procedure used to clean the gym walls.

Insurance will pick up about three-quarters of the $40,000 repair bill.

Cleaning procedures are being tweaked to ensure similar damage isn't seen elsewhere, Truett said.