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Building issues continue for Poland School District

February 6, 2014
By J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

This winter has taken a toll on two of Poland's school buildings, from frozen, cracked heating pipes to busted drain lines and the district is in a heavy repair mode.

Superintendent David Janofa said the repairs at McKinley will be well over $100,000 when all is said and done. As of Jan. 30, there were still nine classrooms at that school that were still out of service.

"Those nine classrooms experienced damaged heating coils," he said.

The heating units were originally made in 1959 and replacement parts are no longer available.

"We had to have the heating coils made," Janofa said.

The cost of the nine new coils was more than, Janofa said. The coils were delivered to the school this week and their installation is now underway. Once they are up and running, there is still a chance the feeder lines may need repaired as well. As of last week, the bill for pipe repairs alone was more than $30,000. Topping that bill off was the overtime hours that were needed to handle the water damage and clean-up efforts.

Just when Janofa and the district staff thought the worse was over, the middle school developed a new problem. On Jan. 17, the sewer line under the school collapsed and caused a backup in a narrow crawl space. That required bringing a drain service to clear the space. The crew worked from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. to clean up the mess. At 5:30 p.m. the district brought in a plumbing crew to repair the broken line. They worked until 11:30 p.m. that night to install a new section of line.

"We haven't got the invoices yet, but we expect the cost to be around $50,000 to $75,000, Janofa said.

When it was discovered, the students were immediately moved to a different section of the building. A clean-up crew worked all weekend to make the building safe for classes on Jan. 20.

The district is now looking at the long term and a more permanent fix to the sewer line problem. Janofa said the line in the crawl space is repaired and working well, but the rest of the line may need replaced as well, which brings another big expense and challenge.

"We need to decide whether to cut up the floor," Janofa said. "The pipe has been replaced in the crawl space to make a temporary fix. However, major intrusion into the floor will need to be done to ultimately solve the problem."

As for the calamity days the storms had brought about, the state was dealing with legislation to help school districts. Janofa said the Ohio House of Representatives approved legislation Jan. 29 to grant school districts four additional calamity days. By Jan. 30, the legislation was in the Senate and was expected to pass. Without the additional calamity days, Poland students would have the school year extended by one day and McKinley students would have to make up two days.

Moving the students to the middle school during the initial repairs helped keep the McKinley students' calamity days from adding up, Janofa said.



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