Engineer Gives OK for HVAC Work at Wheeling Park High School

Photo Provided Wheeling Police Sgt. Donald Miller, center, school resource officer at Bridge Street Middle School, is recognized Monday by the Ohio County Board of Education for assisting a choking child at the school. With him are Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger, left, and Bridge Street Principal Joseph Kolb.

An engineering firm has determined energy-saving upgrades can be completed at Wheeling Park High School next summer, and won’t have to be ripped out later when planned construction takes place there.

Earlier this month, the Ohio County Board of Education agreed to add WPHS to a list of energy-improvement projects set to happen at the end of the school year. Replacement of the heating and air conditioning system and other energy upgrades at WPHS are expected to save the district about $160,000 annually, according to representatives with project architect McKinley & Associates.

But the firm also expressed concern that any cost savings realized by doing the WPHS project early might be offset if contractors would need to later to tear up concrete pads at the school, which would necessitate additional work and expense.

McKinley & Associates had planned to do core drilling soon to determine if the pads would need to be removed.

“But I didn’t want to wait,” Assistant Superintendent Rick Jones said.

On Monday morning, Jones presented to board of education members a report from Eric Matyskiela of M&G Architects and Engineers.

“He did the report, and reinforced we made the right decisions,” Jones said.

Pyrite has been found under other areas of the school, and it was necessary to determine whether it was under the mechanical rooms before new equipment could be placed in there.

“He said it was in perfect shape,” Jones said. “He expressed no hesitation with letting us go forward.”

Proposed energy upgrades at WPHS and other properties in Ohio County Schools account for $6.35 million of a $76 million property improvement plan approved by voters earlier this year.

Also on Monday, board members recognized Wheeling Police Sgt. Donald Miller, school resource officer at Bridge Street Middle School. Miller was commended for his response while assisting a choking child at the school. Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger and Principal Joseph Kolb were present to honor Miller.

The board also set the time for a meeting with its bond committee. The meeting is set for 8 a.m. Nov. 8 at the board office. The next regular meeting is at 6 p.m. Nov. 13.

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