School bond projects 2.27

Written by David Green.

Griffith pointed to a problem with the elementary school water line as a sample of needs that can’t be neglected. The district paid top dollar for emergency repairs last year, he said, rather than fixing the problem so it won’t happen again.

Other needs include—

Elementary school: Replacement of cracking tile held in place by asbestos adhesive; installing energy efficient windows in the gymnasium; replacing exterior doors that are showing corrosion; replacing corroded plumbing; replacing aging toilet fixtures; repairing areas of the roof; paving the front circle drive.

High school: Addressing mechanical issues with the bleachers; replacing exterior gymnasium doors where corrosion has resulted in rotten wood on the gym floor due to water damage; sanding and refinished the gym floor; replacing several exterior doors due to corrosion; replacing the water pressure tank; replacing shower fixtures in locker rooms.

The middle school bond called for construction of a multi-purpose building for alternative education, physical education, wrestling practice and storage. The structure is completed, but still isn’t in use due to a shortage of funds to finish the interior.

District-wide: The running track has exceeded its estimated life span, but it continues to deteriorate. Nearly 70 cracks  break up the surface, in addition to several areas where the rubber surface is missing. Time and money is spent every year patching the surface in an effort to prevent injuries. The bond would cover the cost of a new track. With a properly laid foundation, only the top surface would need to be replaced in the future. The facility is used frequently by district residents, as well as for athletic events and physical education class.

Griffith said that more than $20,000 is spent annually on a variety of upgrades and maintenance for computers, software, internet service, etc. Bond money would pay for new technology equipment, proper wiring and maintenance of the existing equipment.

“What we have and how we apply it is adequate,” Griffith said, “but it always needs updating.”

New funds would also cover instructional needs such as smartboards, projectors and increased long-distance learning opportunities.

The board will also explore energy-saving initiatives and perhaps take what Griffith calls some simple steps to make the district a shade of “green”—both for cost savings and for student involvement.

“We won’t approach it just because it’s trendy,” Griffith said. “It has to make financial sense.”

  • Front.pokemon
    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
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    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
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    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.soccer.balls
    BEVY OF BALLS—Stair District Library Summer Reading Program VolunTeens, including Libby Rorick, back left and Ty Kruse, back right, threw a dozen inflatable soccer balls into the crowd during a reading of “Sergio Saves the Game.” The sports-themed program continues on Wednesdays through July 27.
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