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Falling behind

WACS capital project experiencing complications

January 18, 2017
By David Prenatt - , Westfield Republican

While most of the capital project restoration work is complete and being closed out, a few tasks continue to experience ongoing complications, board of education members learned at a recent regular meeting.

WACS director of facilities Lou Golando updated the board on the project and said that the district is still experiencing difficulty with some of the flooring and tile work. Also, Golando said, the concrete stairway outside of the front of the school will probably not be able to be poured until spring.

When the school year began, many classrooms were still in need of new flooring tiles. Work on these rooms was then scheduled to be done during slowly during breaks and in-service days when students were not in session.

Article Photos

Photo by David Prenatt
WACS high school guidance counselor Scott Cooper.

However, Golando said, much of the tile that was being installed did not match the color or pattern that the architectural plans had stipulated. He said some of the newly installed tiles had to be removed.

Golando said he recently met with the representatives from the general contractor doing the work and with the manufacturer of the flooring tiles to resolve the problem.

"My comment is that you don't accept a 64 percent in the classroom," Golando said. "We're going to do this until it's done right."

Golando also spoke about the concrete stairway that is under construction in front of the building. Weather conditions have prevented the concrete from being poured several times, he said.

Golando said he met with the contractor in December, and they agreed that it would be best to wait until spring to pour the concrete. "We hope to do it sometime in early April," he said.

In a related matter, board members accepted Golando's request to temporarily table a decision to a bid for the capital outlay project that involves putting new lights in the gymnasium.

The district had been prepared to award the bid of $61,020 to Highland Acres Landscaping Inc. for the project. However, Golando said, the original specifications of the bid were not for LED lights.

Since the school has converted much of its inside and outside lighting to LED, Golando said he wishes to explore the cost of using LED lights in the gym before moving ahead with the project.

In other business, the board heard a presentation from high school guidance counselor Scott Cooper about the process of scheduling classes. Cooper outlined the process for both master scheduling and individual student scheduling.

Cooper said the process for master scheduling for the 2017-18 school year began in October with teacher surveys. Teachers are consulted in November and in December a timeline is drawn up, he said.

In January, Cooper said the guidance office conducts departmental meetings and in February it develops course selections for grades 9-12. In March, the office focuses on eighth grade and JCC placement exams for 10th graders, he said.

The guidance office also begins work on individual students scheduling needs in August after the close of the summer school program, Cooper said. "We want to make sure that every student is enrolled in the courses they need to graduate," he said. "We try to take all the pieces and meet the needs of all students."

In other matters, District business Administrator Anthony Montero delivered his final report to the board, assuring members that he is working on a plan to smooth the transition to the next person. WACS superintendent David Davison thanked Montero for his service to the district, noting that "he stepped into some very big shoes, and he has done a very fine job for the district."

Davison told the board that the district received ten applicant for to fill Montero's position. From these, five were chosen for interviews. The district expects to have position filled on Feb.13, he said.

Because Montero's last day is Jan. 19, the board also approved the temporary appointment of David Davison to the position of district clerk, effective January 20, 2017 until an appointment is made.

Davison also addressed the board regarding shared sports. "We do share a number of sports, especially with Brocton," he said. Davison expressed his gratitude to the parents, teachers and coaches who have helped to "iron out a number of bugs with shared sports."

Davison said the one sport that the board would hold off on determining for next year is girls' basketball because the district doesn't know into what division that sport will fall.

He then asked the board if any of them had received feedback on shared sports from parents, community members or players. "If you do hear anything, please let me know," he added. "We will have a resolution in early March approving our combined sports program," he said.

Davison also addressed the board regarding retention and disposition of records. "We have approximately 760 cu ft of records, dating back as far as 1803." he said. He said the district has met with its grant writer to try to obtain duniing for the project. "While this is a competitive grant," he said, "I'm hopeful we will be successful in obtaining it."

The board subsequently approved the adoption of Schedule ED-1, Article 57-A, which states that only those records will be disposed of that have met the minimum retention periods described in the schedule, and only those records will be disposed of that do not have sufficient administrative, fiscal, legal or historical value to merit retention beyond the established legal minimum periods.

Davison also told board members that on December 22 the district conducted Table Top Drills. He said members of HAZMAT, as well as police , firefighters and other emergency response teams were present.

According to National School Safety and Security Services, the exercises are conducted in an informal, stress-free environment. Tabletop exercises are used to clarify roles and responsibilities and to identify additional district mitigation and preparedness needs. "We learned some things that we can do better," Davison said.



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