District panel assured schools will be ready

Monday night’s meeting of the Warren Area School District board of directors’ Physical Plant and Facilities Committee saw an update on the status of ongoing work across the district.

The district is currently finishing improvement work at Beaty-Warren Middle School, renovating and adding an addition to Eisenhower Middle High School to convert it into a K-12 facility and adding an addition to Sheffield Area Middle High School to convert it into a K-12 facility.

Prior to the meeting, Superintendent Dr. William Clark sought to allay concerns over the projects being completed by the first day of school.

“I’m very impressed, walking through the schools now, compared to walking through when I first got here,” Clark said. “(People) Need to understand we’re doing everything we can… we’re looking at a positive for the community and we need to keep the end goal in mind.”

Clark also noted school will start at all facilities as scheduled.

“We’re ready to rock and roll,” he said.

The district’s first day of school for students is slated for next Wednesday, Sept. 4.

Director of Buildings and Grounds Services Dr. Norbert Kennerknecht presented a slideshow highlighting the current state of projects at the three schools.

Slides highlighted completed hallways, classrooms and kitchen facilities at Beaty and Eisenhower and ongoing work preparing the sites of the new additions at Sheffield and Eisenhower.

“We’re ready to go,” Kennerknecht said.

He noted approximately 100 individuals were working on-site at Beaty finishing work, while even more were on-site at Eisenhower.

Kennerknecht also highlighted the savings realized by using the Qualified Zone Academy Bond system as opposed to traditional borrowing. He presented slides showing the savings on each project realized by using the QZABs.

“I think it’s like $14.6 million,” Kennerknecht said of the total difference across all projects.