After the School’s Flood, Falls to Repair the Gym Floor

The high school sustained significant flood damage during the Christmas weekend, and now officials are going forward with plans to rebuild the gymnasium floor, which is expected to cost $325,000.

According to Superintendent Justin Christopher, the $325,000 should cover labor and supplies as the floor will need to be redone. According to Christopher, except for three science classrooms that need new cabinets and worktops, all of the classes are now in use.

Crowe Cabinetry, he claimed, had visited the school to inspect the science classrooms and assess the work that still needed to be done. There are lab spaces in the science rooms. Science lessons are being taught in the choir room, board meeting room, and library while renovating classrooms.

“Everyone else is back in their regular classrooms. Once we get the cabinets in, we can get teachers and students back in their rooms,” Christopher said.

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The junior high school gymnasium is the location of the gym classes.

Over the Christmas holiday, when temperatures plummeted below zero with strong winds, floods destroyed the high school gym, classrooms, offices, and halls. Previously, according to officials, there were two to three inches of water in 90% of the high school wing.

Two classrooms, the high school offices, and the gym floor all showed significant water damage. The north wing of the high school reportedly suffered minor water damage.

After the School's Flood Falls to Repair the Gym Floor

According to authorities, severe gusts of between 60 and 70 mph forced the front windows of the high school building open, which led to the sprinkler system freezing and bursting.

A disaster repair business has already started water mitigation and storm damage cleanup.

In late December, Servicemaster Restoration was at the school doing upgrades. The business had been collaborating with the maintenance and janitorial staff of the school district to clean and sanitize the impacted classrooms.

According to officials, insurance will be utilized to pay for the flooring.

The Newton Falls junior varsity and varsity basketball teams were given access to the gyms of many nearby school districts, including Lordstown, Windham, LaBrae, and Jackson Milton schools, according to the superintendent.

Grant Sought

The board applied for a $200,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Development Services Agency for energy efficiency.

According to Treasurer Terry Armstrong, the award will pay for the elementary/middle school’s urgently needed chiller repair and is paired with an LED lighting installation that reduces the energy required to qualify for the grant.

Armstrong stated that the district would pay the district portion out of the Classroom Facilities Fund. The community won’t carry out the project if the grant is not obtained.

Retirement Incentive

A $30,000 retirement incentive will be given by the district to teachers who have 30 or more years of service or who are 65 years old over three years. For three years, the teachers would receive $10,000 annually.

Brenda Hibbard, a second-grade teacher, will retire on June 1; Donald Nicholson, a high school guidance counselor, will retire on May 31, and Kimberly Whitfield, a fifth-grade teacher, will retire on May 27. According to Christopher, the district will save $125,000 in the first year due to the retirement of those three employees.


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