Project updates provided to school board

WELLSBURG – The Brooke County school board received updates on ongoing or upcoming improvements to school facilities at a work meeting Wednesday.

Marty Bartz, assistant superintendent, updated the board on the projects in the absence of Rob Robinson, facilities supervisor, who has the week off.

Bartz said carpet in the Brooke High School library, installed when the school was built more than 40 years ago, will be removed in the near future and replaced with new carpet by Carpet Showcase of Wheeling at a cost of $35,694.

He said Carpet Showcase also is replacing carpet and tile in areas of Colliers, Franklin, Jefferson and L.B. Millsop primary schools at a cost of about $37,000.

Bartz said new shelving and furniture for the library is set to arrive on Aug. 12.

Renovations to the library are being funded with $661,955 received from Chesapeake Energy for leasing up to 189 acres of school property for natural gas drilling. The lease was contingent upon no wells being drilled on the property.

Bartz also reported on the following projects:

Crews with Angelina Stone and Marble of Bridgeport, Ohio, will be inspecting the integrity of the facade of Wellsburg Middle School. Bartz said the facade is crumbling in some areas, leading to small pieces falling from the structure, which was built in 1927.

He said once the wall is inspected, crews will seal the cracked areas.

Crews with Mansuetto Roofing of Wheeling are replacing the roof over the gym at Wellsburg Primary School. Bartz said the school also will receive a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit, which Mansuetto has agreed to lower onto the roof when the work is done, saving the school district the cost of renting a crane.

He said the school wasn’t among several schools that received new HVAC systems through the bond issue approved several years ago.

Wilson Blacktop of Wheeling will be blacktopping an area near the concession stand at Brooke Memorial Stadium and the lot at the school district’s bus garage at a cost of about $71,000 and Blackie and Sons Paving of Cadiz will be blacktopping the playground at L.B. Millsop Primary School and the area between Wellsburg Middle School and the band building at a cost of about $28,000.

Bartz said paving at the bus garage is the reason the county’s school buses have been parked at the high school.

The front doors at the high school will be replaced with ones with shatter-proof panes and the awning replaced with canvass overhangs similar to the one above the ticket window for the athletic department.

AB Specialties of Pittsburgh is the contractor for the $51,400 project.

Gil Thermes Fence Co. of Wintersville will be installing a fence at the outdoor classroom used by the high school’s biology students and replacing fences at Wellsburg Middle School and Franklin, Jefferson and Wellsburg primary schools.

The cost for the work is about $14,964.

Crews with Unique Walls and Ceilings of Wellsburg continue to resurface the stucco-like facade of the school board office at Pleasant Avenue and state Route 2.

Robinson said earlier the $125,650 project will address corners where the facade has come apart from the original brick exterior, allowing rain to seep in.

Board members expressed concern about projects being completed by Aug. 19, the first day for students.

Bartz, who served as facilities supervisor before Robinson, conceded the shorter summer makes it more challenging to complete the work. But he said priority will be given to projects that will most affect students if not completed.

In related business, Superintendent Kathy Kidder-Wilkerson said new bids will be sought for the construction of a new alternative learning center on property owned by the board at 26th Street and Pleasant Avenue after the first round of bids came in higher than expected.

The center was established to provide a more structured environment for students with behavioral issues. At night it also serves students who have been expelled from the school district, which is legally obligated to provide them an education.

In recent years it was moved, as a cost-saving measure, to a classroom in the vocational department at the high school. Though the students eat their meals in the classroom and are otherwise kept separate from other students, some school officials have argued a separate building is a better arrangement.

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