Jefferson West board tours new building, inspects improvements
School board members on tour in the Jefferson West district gathered in the elementary gymnasium to view a new light fixture being demonstrated. The fixture not only promises a better light, but pays back the investment in 18 months from savings in electricity. From left are Scott Gibson, Principal Wes Sturgeon, Superintendent Pat Happer, Frank Sayles, Shannon McMahon, transportation director Ron Christlieb, maintenance director Jim Malloy, Linda Jones-Giltner, and Dreana McClurg.
Story and photos by Clarke Davis
The Jefferson West school board spent nearly three hours touring district facilities the evening of Aug. 16 starting with the new transportation building.
The new building will have offices for transportation director Ron Christlieb and maintenance director Jim Malloy.
A room with a kitchenette will provide a gathering place for bus drivers and serve as a training room. Christlieb teaches defensive driving classes along with first aide and CPR classes to bus drivers.
The district employs 10 regular route bus drivers, four others who run special routes, and there are upward of eight substitute drivers.
A maintenance work area is included along with two large bays to house district tractors, mowers, and other equipment. Buses can also be pulled into the bay area for work in bad weather.
Superintendent Pat Happer said the district does not have plans at the present time to do its own service or mechanical work on buses.
A large storage area is available in the upstairs portion of the building.
General contractor Dennis Rouse of Rouse Construction, Meriden, was present and said the building is about a month away from being complete. The project was delayed when Schmidt Builders Supply in Topeka shut down causing a problem in getting building supplies.
Rouse also used local subcontractors when possible that included Chuck Wilson, Meriden, on new air conditioning units on the high school and Gary Cope, plumber, at the elementary school.
The board moved on to the elementary building where new windows have been put in the classrooms located in the oldest portion of the building. While it’s been added on to numerous times, the original section was built in 1939. One window in each classroom extends to the floor and has latches that allow it to serve as an exit or fire escape.
Restroom facilities with new fixtures have also been remodeled in the older portion of the school.
The new building, work at the elementary building, and the air conditioning units at the high school have been financed using Qualified School Construction Bonds — low interest money made available by the 2009 Stimulus Bill. The board borrowed approximately $600,000 to be paid off using the capital outlay levy.
Building principals greeted the board members at each attendance center and a pizza snack was served at the elementary. Board members attending were Vice President Frank Sayles, Dreana McClurg, Linda Jones-Giltner, Scott Gibson, and Shannon McMahon. President Jeff Van Petten and Don Knowles did not attend.
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