SUNBURY — Director of Facilities Doug Swartz recently updated the Big Walnut Board of Education on construction projects taking place in the district.

“The football concession building, we’ve been able to use it all spring and summer,” Swartz said on July 28. “The coolers are in place.” Another refrigerator was about to be installed.

The red pole barn for exterior athletic storage is completed, Swartz said.

Movement has taken place on the tennis courts, with top course recently installed. It takes three weeks to dry before the striping can be painted.

Superintendent Ryan McLane said he hoped it wouldn’t rain Aug. 1 (it didn’t) or the week of Aug. 22 so girls tennis matches could be played on their home courts.

“As a superintendent and the parent of a tennis player, I’m confident they will get to play a good bit of matches there,” McLane said. “If we do not get that weather cooperation, I am not as confident.”

The tennis courts between the intermediate school and middle school will be the default site for matches, but the courts could use repair and repainting, McLane said.

Artificial turf (Astroturf) for the baseball and softball infields are in, as are the irrigation systems, but the outfields weren’t completed, Swartz said.

“The multi-sport practice fields, there’s five of them,” Swartz said. “There’s a little more work that needs to be done.” However, he wasn’t sure if a 3.1-mile cross country course would be ready for the season.

In response to a question regarding the surrounding lawns being ready for the first home football game on Aug. 19, Swartz said he has made the contractor aware of the situation. There were also some distressed maple trees that needed additional care.

As for the new middle school, Swartz said it was a “night and day” difference in interior appearance, and that they were currently relamping light fixtures. Also, the new football field has been in use. However, the chiller replacement has been delayed until September.

The roof at Big Walnut Elementary was delayed for a week, he said.

Swartz praised the custodial and maintenance workers of the district, who spent weeks moving furniture as part of the summer school moves.

“They work like dogs, just to be blunt. … Yeah, these folks, we’re just wearing them to the bone … but we’re ahead of schedule.”

In other business, the board unanimously approved the 2022/2023 staff handbook, personnel moves, and the use of federal funds from the pandemic to damp-proof the roof of the new Big Walnut Middle School (the former high school) beginning Aug. 8 for three weeks.

Board President Doug Crowl wished the Big Walnut students competing at the Hartford Fair good luck. “The Biggest Little Fair in the World” takes place Aug. 7-13 in Croton.

The next scheduled board meeting is Aug. 18, but Crowl hoped to meet prior to that for new treasurer interviews.

In a recent photo, work was being done at the old high school/new middle school football stadium. a recent photo, work was being done at the old high school/new middle school football stadium. Gary Budzak | The Gazette

By Gary Budzak

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Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.