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Woodsdale Elementary School off to ‘Cool’ Start

photo by: Joselyn King

Construction work continues at the front of Woodsdale Elementary School, where a new “man trap” safety feature is being constructed at the front entrance.

The temperatures have been hot, and there’s construction still under way at Woodsdale Elementary School. But that doesn’t mean students will be basking in warm classrooms as the school awaits parts for its heating and air conditioning system.

It’s actually going to be a “cool” start for the year as officials will be bringing in portable heating, ventilation and air conditioning units to assure comfort during the late summer days – and beyond, if the temperatures grow cool.

Otherwise, the school is expected to be ready for students when they return Aug. 23.

“Woodsdale is simply amazing – the effort that is going on there,” Assistant Superintendent Rick Jones told board of education members this week. “They are working on literally everything in the building. Everything is being done simultaneously to get ready for school.”

While the building will have temporary HVAC units, this should only be for the short term, he continued.

“I got some good news that we won’t be paying for and renting equipment for as long as we thought we would,” Jones said.

The cost for the first month of the temporary HVAC is $28,000, and $23,000 for each additional month, according to David Crumm, operations director for Ohio County Schools.

Permanent HVAC units are presently sitting outside the school ready to be installed inside the building, but they won’t yet be operational.

Crum said the school is awaiting three fans needed to complete its permanent HVAC system. These are expected to be shipped Aug. 22, and the system should be up and running by Sept. 12, he explained.

Crumm expects – if the shipping date holds true – the temporary units only will be needed for a month.

Previously, the wait was expected to be as long as a year, he and Jones added.

Woodsdale Elementary School is getting a new cafeteria addition, while classrooms in the building are being reconfigured into a new layout.

The classrooms will all be the same size when the project is completed, architects for McKinley and Associates have explained. Some rooms are currently as large as 1,200 square feet, while others are as small as 600 square feet.

A “mantrap” safety feature is under construction at the front entrance, and accessibilty ramps are being placed.

The project at Woodsdale Elementary School is budgeted at $5.4 million, and is being paid for through the $42.2 million bond issues passed by voters in 2018.

Construction at Woodsdale began in December, and is expected to be complete by the end of 2022.

“It will be ready for students (when school starts), but it won’t be completed,” Crumm said.

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