SUNBURY — The focus of a recent Big Walnut Board of Education meeting was construction.
Facilities Director Doug Swartz discussed the replacement of the roof at Big Walnut Elementary.
“This is roughly a million-dollar project,” Swartz said. “This has been on the radar for a couple years. There is some asbestos that needs to be removed.” Some work on the flashing needs to be done as well. Swartz also talked about hiring an architect, Triad Architects, as part of the project. “They’ve already done some preliminary work for us.”
This will be a two-phase project, Swartz said, spaced out over this summer and next summer, which is a little different than normal, but due to the funding. However, Big Walnut Local Schools has had to do this before.
The district gets a little over a million dollars each year from a permanent improvement levy that was passed in November 2017.
“The district maintains a prioritized list of school facility needs throughout the district that is constantly monitored and adjusted as needs change and projects are completed,” states Big Walnut’s website. “Needs exist at each school in the district, and all buildings will receive repairs from this fund. While the fund cannot meet all of the facility needs, it will remedy the most urgent ones, allowing the district to protect the community’s investment in these buildings for as long as possible. P.I. funds are also used to replace vehicles and equipment, such as school buses and snow plows.”
The board asked Swartz how a roof project can be done over two summers. He said there were a couple different levels of the roof (a 30%-70% difference), so the contract could be broken out by elevation. Swartz said the same roofer would be used for both summers to ensure consistency.
Swartz also told the board about adding another driveway for the new high school currently being constructed. The funding source was a $110,000 donation to BWLSD, with a remaining $11,000 taken from the district’s contingency fund. Swartz said an additional fee would be needed for the architect.
Board member and BOE Vice President Liana Lee said the driveway was needed due to traffic.
In other business, Treasurer Jeremy Buskirk said the governor’s latest budget will allow the district to continue to invest in much-needed mental health resources. He also said House Bill 1, the Fair Funding Formula for schools, has been introduced in the Ohio legislature.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to shadow the current school year.
“We had a vaccine clinic on a Sunday at Olentangy Berlin for all the educators, and it went extremely well,” said Superintendent Angie Hamberg during her report on Feb. 11.
Board members also praised the vaccination efforts, noting that some states were still struggling to come up with a plan to administer shots for their staff and teachers. Although the meeting was in-person, all were wearing masks.