The District 13 Board of Education and members of the public got an in-depth look at each of the district’s four elementary schools last Saturday during the annual facilities tour where potential renovations and upgrades were pointed out and recently completed projects were shown off.
The building principals led the tour at their respective schools, along with Meredith Brosnan, assistant superintendent for business, and James Daly, supervisor of school facilities and operations. Approved changes were discussed during the tour as well as other possible projects that are currently only being talked about among school officials.
The first stop on the tour was outside of Willow Road School where the board got a look at the rusty flagpole that is under consideration to be replaced. The flagpole outside of Howell Road School is in a similar condition, although not quite as worn, according to school officials.
Willow Road School Principal Stephanie Capozzoli led the group into the school’s gymnasium, which is on the district’s list of rooms, hallways and ceilings that need to be repainted. To repaint the gymnasium’s walls and ceiling would cost $25,000, according to estimates.
There are also several doors district officials would like to replace at Willow, including at the main entrance as well as the exit doors by the nurse’s office. “They’re 50 to 60 years old,” Brosnan said of the Willow doors, “and it’s time.”
The district also plans to move forward with replacing the blacktop at Willow, which is slated to cost $120,000.
The tour then shifted to Howell Road where Principal Frank Huplosky showed the board similar projects for their consideration and ones that were already approved, including painting the walls and ceiling of the gymnasium and replacing the exit doors.
Since enrollment at Howell has declined, a science lab was created in an extra classroom. Huplosky showed the board the new microscopes students are using and trustee Frank Chiachiere even studied some cells.
New blacktop for the handball court at Howell has already been funded and the plans now await approval from the New York State Education Department. The district is also looking to replace the blacktop on the basketball court for $75,000.
At Wheeler Avenue School, the oldest building in the district, the board will consider replacing the carpet and repainting the walls in the main office, in addition to repainting the main hallway. First-year Principal Dr. Gayle Steele led the board into the auditorium where two additional windows will be installed. The district is also seeking $39,600 to replace the gymnasium exit doors.
Upon exiting the doors that are proposed to be replaced, the board got a look at the vast sea of blacktop that is slated to be replaced next year and is already funded.
The last stop on the tour was James A. Dever School where Principal Darren Gruen showed board members the gymnasium that is under consideration to get repainted and also some exterior doors that could be replaced.
Gruen brought the board to the library where shades were recently installed to keep out sunlight. Gruen said before the shades were put in, the room would get incredibly hot and make it difficult for students to concentrate.