Progress reported on school district building projects

The elementary addition at Sheffield Area Middle High School is starting to take shape.

Dr. Norbert Kennerknecht, Warren County School District director of buildings and grounds, updated the Physical Plant and Facilities Committee of the school board on the district’s building projects during Monday evening’s meeting.

Kennerknecht said the concrete slab that serves as the base for the Sheffield project has been poured. “The first load of steel arrived on Friday (and workers) started lowering steel this morning,” he said.

A second truckload of steel arrived on Monday, he explained. The new boilers are in place as well.

He cautioned the board that the roof over the gymnasium and auditorium, within the next year or so, should be core sampled to see if anything is leaking.

At Eisenhower, blacktop and concrete work have commenced. Kennerknecht noted that approximately 98 percent of the earth that has been dug up during the process has been retained and repurposed. “This was an area, the sports boosters practice field, (we) built that up to make that field longer and more useful for athletic purposes.” He said the areas has been built up four to five feet in total.

Regarding the elementary wing, he said that metal stud work and insulation has started and the roof is on and concrete pours are ongoing. “Soon we’ll be weather tight,” he said.

The renovation is also progressing as well. Kennerknecht said that the second floor of the building will be set to be turned back over for school occupation at the conclusion of first semester. Coordinating the move-in with the semester break “gives the contractors and us a better shot of having a quality project at that time,” he said. “(It) won’t disrupt classes of students as much.”

To complete that part, “what we’re waiting for is all the duct work,” he said. The vertical ventilators, a key component of that, were expected to arrive on Monday.

At Beaty, Kennerknecht said that the auditorium is finished. Committee chair Donna Zariczny noted that “the lighting is such a change. It is so much brighter in there.”

Board member Dr. Paul Yourchisin asked if the concrete pours were complete at Sheffield and Eisenhower. Kennerknecht said that a couple of large pours are still needed in the elementary wing at Eisenhower but he is hopeful they will be completed this week. One more is also needed in Sheffield. He explained that concrete pours are often more effective in cool weather because, when the temperature is hot, the concrete is more likely to crack and cooler temperatures allow for a more natural curing.

He said that as long as temperatures are not “sub-zero, we’ll be in good shape.”