The new buildings going up in the South-Western City School District are noteworthy, but the district also completed a number of important permanent improvement projects over the summer at many existing schools.
"You go around and see the new construction going up and you kind of forget about the permanent improvement work, which is a big key to our success," said Mark Waller, the district's coordinator of prepared services and construction projects.
Waller provided a report on the summer work to school board members at their Aug. 19 meeting.
Some minor asphalt repair was completed at Westland and Grove City high schools, he said.
"There were some large segments of pavement that just failed over this past winter," Waller said. "With traffic going over top of it and moisture underneath, a lot of it just has wear and tear."
The carpeting and circulation desks were also replaced at Westland and Grove City's Education Resource Centers.
"Boy, that was a welcome job. We've been fighting and trying to do that for years," Waller said. "We never had the ability to do it. It's such a large area.
"The schools smell better, too," he said, drawing a laugh from the board and the audience.
Twenty-five percent of the lockers were replaced at Brookpark Middle School, along with 12 percent of the lockers at Finland Middle School.
"The existing lockers have completely exceeded their life cycle in that you can no longer get parts for them," Waller said.
If you can find parts, they now cost almost as much as buying a new locker, he said.
Miscellaneous projects included the replacement of the gym roof and cafeteria flooring at Prairie View Middle School, remodeling of the food lab and replacement of the flooring in three classrooms at Westland and the replacement of the district's pony van, Waller said.
Renovations at Buckeye Woods and Darby Woods elementary schools, which will not be replaced in the district's building project, included a partial roof replacement, replacement of the fire alarm system, installation of new generators and the installation of plumbing for new roof drains.
The chiller was also replaced at Buckeye Woods, Waller said.