When they started school Monday, Aug. 18, students and staff members at three Worthington elementary schools were greeted with new floors, carpets and bright splashes of new paint on the walls.
As part of about $3-million worth of facilities improvements completed over the summer, the interiors at Evening Street, Brookside and Worthington Hills elementary schools were remodeled.
Old tile floors, some of them containing asbestos, were torn up and replaced with a combination of wood-grain vinyl flooring and colorful carpet tiles. Every classroom received a coat of paint.
At Evening Street, each classroom got at least one brightly covered wall to match its door frame. Some are purple, some orange, some bright green.
"It's so nice when you walk down the hall and see the doorways that are so bright and colorful," Evening Street principal Mary Rykowski said.
Teachers added their own touches with painted or refinished cabinets. One classroom even had new seat cushions in a bright matching fabric.
"I think they did an awesome job with all the painting," Evening Street librarian Sharon Strock said.
Because everything had to be removed from classrooms and libraries, it all was cleaned or replaced.
"There's no dust on those books," Strock said. "It's an exciting way to start the new year."
Facilities director Tim Gehring said getting the jobs done in such a short time was the greatest challenge, especially in the schools where asbestos removal was required.
The only construction project still to be completed is the traffic signal on Hard Road, at the west entrance to Kilbourne High School, McCord Middle School and Granby Elementary School. It should be finished by the end of August, Gehring said.
Other jobs completed over summer, all of which were funded via the 2012 bond issue, were as follows:
• New outside storage buildings at Worthingway and McCord middle schools.
• Interior painting, floor-tile replacement and new roofing at the Kingsmill facility.
• Carpet replacement in the library and the auditorium at Thomas Worthington High School.
• A retractable wall replacement between the gym and cafeteria replaced at Worthington Hills Elementary School.
• Flooring replacement at the Sutter Park preschool.
• New lockers in boys locker room at Worthington Kilbourne High School.
• New asphalt in the Thomas Worthington teachers parking lot and drive to the old outdoor education building.
• Improvements to the outdoor education building, which is being renovated to be used as a community-meeting facility in a joint effort of the schools, city and both Worthington Rotary clubs.