School Board Gets Updated Designs

MOUNDSVILLE – Architects for the John Marshall High School renovation project presented the Marshall County Board of Education with updated designs for the building’s entrance and connecting walkway between the main and performing arts buildings.

Silling Associates Inc. presented four different options for the school’s entrance, which all featured a receiving area that would require visitors to pass through the office to get into the building, a safety design required by the board’s agreement with the state School Building Authority.

Board members expressed some concern with the all-glass design of the entrance, which they said could cause maintenance and cleaning issues. Board president Roger Lewicki also requested a cost of the designs, although no prices were available at the meeting.

The board plans to meet with Silling Associates at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 16 in the board offices so the architects can present figures on the designs.

“I really want (the building) to pop out like you’ve never seen it,” board member Tom Gilbert said. “I’m hoping we can do something out of the ordinary.”

The architects also presented a design for the walkway between the main building and the school’s performing arts center, which showed the walkway enclosed by glass. Superintendent Michael Hince previously stated enclosing the walkway was a design required by the SBA for safety reasons. The design also showed a reduction in the number of science labs in the building from the original 10 to eight labs in order to save money.

Also during the meeting, the board addressed concerns brought up in a recent meeting with Cameron High School’s Local School Improvement Council.

Lewicki said the board “needed to clear things up” about what was discussed. During last week’s meeting, teachers at the high school reported issues they were having with the building, including a leak in a classroom, a leak in the auditorium, troubles with the school’s Internet server and the need for manuals for the school’s operating systems for staff not trained in the systems.

The board learned Tuesday there was a confirmed leak in a classroom on the second floor. Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc. will perform a test this week to try to identify the source of the leak. Additionally, officials said bubbles from the polyurethane on the auditorium’s stage floor could have been mistaken for water damage since those floors tend to expand and contract. It was also reported the leak in the auditorium was due to condensation from a valve in the HVAC system.

Officials said two sets of system manuals were determined to be missing, including one from Scalise Industries and an electrical system manual, but officials were working to replace them.

Also, board member Beth Phillips addressed the school’s reportedly faulty Internet server, suggesting the issue may result from the city having connection problems in general due to its location. The issue was not addressed further.

“We needed to clear the air,” Lewicki said. “We need community support. We’ve always felt we were doing the right things for Marshall County. Now with John Marshall, we need everybody’s support. We don’t want to take any shortcuts; let’s do it right.”