Just like home, area schools have to keep up with general maintenance, and repairs and summer is a good time to do those projects when school is out. Kenston Local School District is working on a number of projects to be ready for the start of classes for the new school year.

“With all our projects, it is important to stay up on them, just like homeowners have to do,” Kenston Local School District Superintendent Nancy Santilli said. “It’s preparing classrooms, painting, carpeting and keeping up the grounds like in a home. It’s just a bigger house,” she said of the schools. “We take pride in it.”

She noted that Jeremy McDevitt, Kenston superintendent of business operations and strategic initiatives, and Marc Lobosco, Kenston facilities director, work with a five-year plan for the district projects.

“Most of this is routine and involves keeping up our facilities to provide a safe learning environment for our students,” the superintendent said. “The work is usually done in the summer. It’s a very busy time so we can welcome our students back for the school year.”

In reviewing the projects underway at the various schools, Mr. McDevitt said the Timmons Elementary School roof is 25 years old and needs to be replaced on the shingles section. The flat portion of the school roof is in good shape, he said. The existing shingles are brittle and it is time to replace them, he noted. The gutter replacement job on Timmons started as well and was almost complete last week.

Despite the amount of rain experienced lately, the projects are on schedule at the schools, he noted. The area where the roofing at Timmons is being done is not being occupied while the work is being done. The Bainbridge Police Department’s Safety Town held in July at the school will be moved to the Kenston Intermediate School, Mr. McDevitt said.

At the Intermediate School, the gymnasium floor is being refinished. It is done on a regular basis, Mr. McDevitt said. He noted the gym at the high school does not get as much use as the auxiliary gym at that building.The intermediate school gym receives a lot of use by Kenston Community Education events. The Kenston Middle School gym floor also needed refinishing.

Work on the gym floors at the various school buildings is usually an annual project, done at the close of the school year. The exception is the main high school gym. “We try to tarp it when non-athletic events are held with chairs and heavy traffic with street shoes,” Mr. McDevitt said. Cost for all the floors being done is about $7,000.

At the Kenston Middle School, routine maintenance is being done, including replacement of the carpet in the media center and painting classrooms. “We are replacing two large air handling units,” Mr. McDevitt said. Work is being done on the heating and air conditioning system as well.

A fire panel alarm system is being replaced at the middle school. “It still works but is dated,” he said. It will cost about $80,000. It includes smoke detectors and related items, he said. The building is aging as it was built in the 1950s, he noted.

The biggest project at the Kenston High School building is the replacement of the sound system and projector in the auditorium, according to Mr. McDevitt. It has been noticed over time the video projector needs to be replaced and the speakers are not operating as they should.

The building has been in use since 2004, he said. Fifty percent of the project is being funded through a donation to help with the overall cost of about $80,000.

Routine work and renovations are being done at the high school media center in addition to the refinishing of the auxiliary gym, according to Mr. McDevitt.

In looking at the Kenston campus as a whole, they are doing the annual assessment of the parking lots and driveways. Paving repairs are being done along with seal coating and restriping. With the winters here, a toll is taken on the asphalt, Mr. McDevitt said. Annually, the school district spends about $50,000 to $70,000 on such work. “It can be expensive,” he said.

Two years ago, parking areas were repaved and they are already showing cracks and need repairs, Mr. McDevitt said. “We are trying to keep up with it.”

The junior varsity softball field renovations will be done by the end of summer. Excavation work is being done to make the field drain better. A varsity softball batting cage is being constructed as well. A donation was made for the installation for the girls’ softball field adjacent to the varsity softball field.

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