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Fixing, cleaning priorities this summer for Troy City Schools

Published: Friday, July 19, 2019 @ 12:14 PM
Updated: Friday, July 19, 2019 @ 3:16 PM

Workers from American Roofing and Metal Company work to replace portions of the roof at Cookson Elementary School in Troy.
Workers from American Roofing and Metal Company work to replace portions of the roof at Cookson Elementary School in Troy.

Officials with Troy City Schools said maintenance is performed on the district’s buildings and facilities through the year, but the larger upgrades and updates are done during the summer months when the district’s nine buildings are mostly empty of students and staff.

“We’ll start in early June and try to have most of our work done by the beginning of August, because that’s when you have a lot of teachers starting to come in and get their rooms ready,” said Tytus Jacobs, the Troy City Schools Director of Transportation, Facilities and Maintenance. “We’ve always got plenty of work to do in the summer, especially.”

During the summer, major repairs and refurbishing projects are done in the district buildings. This summer, the largest capital projects is repairing the roof at Cookson Elementary School. School officials say that nearly 40 percent of the roof at Cookson are being replaced, including areas above the gymnasium, kitchen and north wing. Other portions of the roof will be replaced at a later date, school officials said.

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“The safety of our students is our No. 1 concern,” Jacobs said. “We want to be able to provide a clean, healthy environment that is conducive for learning. When you are making roof repairs, it’s because you don’t want that water intrusion, which can lead to many potential health hazards. Every time water comes in, something bad could happen to the roof deck.”

The funding to repair the roof came from funds generated b y a 1.1-mill capital improvement levy. The cost to repair the roof is $310, 450. The levy was renewed by voters last November.

Jacobs said this year’s roofing project at Cookson will be one of many roofing projects throughout the district in the coming years. 

“Once we get done with this, the rest of the roof will still need to be replaced,” Jacobs said. “And then you have to start looking at the roofs at our other schools within the district. There is something to be done within the district, roof-wise, for at least the next five years.”

School officials said other major projects this summer include installing a portable stairs climber at Van Cleve 6th Grade Building; patching, sealing and re-striping part of Ferguson Drive between Troy High School and Troy Jr. High School; seal-coating and striping the parking lot at Troy Jr. High School and patching various areas around the district’s bus compound. There are also a number of improvements being done at Troy’s athletic facilities, including the re-sodding of the field at Troy Memorial Stadium, the installation of a new track at the stadium and re-coating the tennis courts at the high school. 

“Your ‘big-ticket’ items are always going to be roofs, masonry, plumbing, pavement, asphalt, boilers and concrete work,” Jacobs said. “Those things all take money, especially with these older buildings. We have a lot of older buildings in our district and they all need some sort of work done every year to make sure we are keeping the students safe. That is always our No. 1 goal, keeping our students safe and to provide a healthy environment conducive for learning.”

The newest school building in the district is Troy Junior High School, which was built in 1973. The oldest building in the district is Van Cleve, which was built in 1914. Other school buildings in the district include: Concord Elementary School (originally built in 1919, with four additions since then), Heywood Elementary School (built in 1930), Forest Elementary School (1949), Kyle Elementary School (1950), Troy High School (1958), Cookson Elementary School (1964) and Hook Elementary School (1966). 

All told, Troy City Schools will spend $698,445.75 on capital improvement projects this year. The 1.1-mill capital improvement levy generates roughly $730,000 each year.

In addition to the capital improvement projects going on, every school building is scrubbed, top to bottom, every summer.

“Every summer our regular custodians and the summer help we hire give a thorough cleaning to every building. We obviously keep them clean throughout the school year, as well, but in the summer, we are able to do things we can’t do during the year. We are able to clean the lights, walls and windows. All of the floors are buffed or waxed. The restrooms are all cleaned from top to bottom.

“We wash every single desk. Not just the tops, but we actually go inside the desks and clean them. If there’s gum on the bottom of a chair, we scrape it off. There are probably 50 people we bring in. It’s a heck of a stable of workers we depend on every summer.”