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Students in the Woodridge Local School District will see some changes when they return to classes Aug. 17.
Young people at the middle school at 4451 Quick Road will be learning under a new roof that was installed over the summer. District Superintendent Walter Davis told the Falls News-Press on Aug. 10 that the "bulk of the major construction" was expected to be finished this past week.
"There will be some minor aspects of the project yet to complete after the start of school," he added.
Fitz-Fahl Inc., dba Robert Roofing Co., which submitted a bid of $982,000, has performed the roof replacement work.
District voters in November 2015 approved a $33.5 million bond issue for a project consisting of the roof work at the middle school, constructing a new elementary school, and adding a new gymnasium and more classroom space to the high school.
The elementary school building will house students in kindergarten through fifth grade and be build on land next to the Board of Education office, and have entrances from both Quick and State roads.
Davis noted that the work on the elementary school and high school is expected to start during the school year. Architects for the district will submit designs for the projects to the city's planning commission in the upcoming week. Site preparation work for the new elementary school building will start in October, and work at both sites will begin in early spring 2017. Both buildings are expected to be finished by August 2018.
"We're about to have a campus, and it's pretty darn exciting," said Davis during the School Board meeting on July 26.
Davis told the Falls News-Press that the heavy rainfall on Aug. 10 caused some problems at the buildings. There was some water in the kitchen and the cafeteria at the primary school which was "quickly cleaned up / by our maintenance crews/," he said. Davis also noted a tree near the intermediate school in Peninsula was struck by lightning and there were some power issues in an "outbuilding," but not the school building.
Teachers union poised to vote on new contract
Teachers in the Woodridge School District will return to school on Aug. 15, which is the same day that the district's teachers union (Woodridge Education Association) will vote on a new contract. The Board of Education will then act on the new deal at its meeting on Aug. 16. A tentative deal was reached Aug. 2, according to Davis, who added details of the pact would be released after both parties acted on it.
The Woodridge Education Association represents 152 district employees.
Guy Bonnay, president, of WEA, said he does not typically comment on a contract until his membership has had a chance to review it and vote on it.
Some changes planned at district buildings
Davis said that, due to increased enrollment, a first-grade classroom was added at the primary school.
"This will enable us to reduce class sizes in our ongoing effort to maximize opportunities for teaching and learning," said Davis.
New offerings in the district include: an Advanced Placement Statistics course at the high school; a dual-credit English course collaboration with the University of Akron at the high school; and a "Art in the Community" option for high school students. The English course will be taught by Teresa Hartz from the University of Akron, while the art course is "a project based course designed to have students interacting with community organizations and businesses in designing projects for their use," said Davis.
Start and dismissal times are unchanged at all of the buildings this year. Davis said that parents can view transportation schedules on the district's website at http://www.woodridge.k12.oh.us/.