TIPP CITY — A return to hotter weather has coincided with students’ return to school.
According to Superintendent Gretta Kumpf, the administration is keeping a close eye on temperatures in buildings with no air conditioning.
Although the schools enjoyed the milder temperatures for the first few days of school, Kumpf said that temperatures hovered around 80 degrees in some classrooms last week.
“I will say that the middle school is in a joyous mode right now because there have been improvements. They do have air conditioning now and they are feeling the benefit of that,” Kumpf said. “On the other hand, in Nevin Coppock and Broadway, they are not air conditioned.”
Some areas of Broadway Elementary are air conditioned and students are cycled in and out, Kumpf said. The district also provides bottled water and ice pops for students.
“We give them frequent breaks,” she said.
Kumpf said the temperature concerns highlight the need for improved kindergarten through third grade facilities.
“Our facility needs for K-3 remain and one of those needs is air conditioning,” she said.
According to Director of Services Gary Pfister, the district spent the summer making improvements to facilities, including air conditioning in the middle school. The chiller at L.T. Ball Intermediate was also replaced.
Pfister said the summer maintenance accomplishments were “amazing,” but added that “there’s still a lot to do.”
Windows are being installed at the middle school and roofing work has been touch and go because of the weather, Pfister said. There is also some lighting work yet to do at the high school and middle school.
According to board president Sam Spano, the administration is scheduled to have another meeting with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.
The district applied for participation in the state’s Expedited Local Partnership Program (ELPP) and was approved, Spano said. This program allows districts to build facilities and be reimbursed by the state.
“It will not necessarily be available at the time that we start the project,” he said. “Part of the ELPP program is that they promise that as your number comes up, they will fund the project. But until that time, the district will be responsible for everything that is required to execute the master plan.”
Spano said the district is locked in to a 31 percent funding rate if the district proceeds through the program.
OFCC representatives were scheduled to visit L.T. Ball last week.
“We’re excited about the opportunity,” Spano said. “We have a lot of work to do in regards to completing our master facilities plan, in regard to coming up with actual costs of what we would build, getting that approved by the board and by the state.”
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.