Conesville wasn’t built to handle today’s world of education

| June 8, 2016

CONESVILLE – Conesville Elementary Principal Joel Moore has been known to compare his school building to a tractor his family had.

“You knew how to make it run, but you couldn’t let anyone else borrow it because they wouldn’t know how to keep it from running out of gas or the battery going dead,” he said.

Conesville is one of River View Local School District’s four elementary schools that have long outlived their purpose for educating children. The district is working on a building project that will include closing the current elementary schools and constructing one new one attached to the junior high and making renovations to the junior high and high school. The project will be partially funded by a bond that will be voted on by the community during a special election on Tuesday, Aug. 2 and by money from the Ohio School Facilities Commission.

The original part of Conesville Elementary was built in 1917 and additions were made in 1935 and 1955. It was not built to have Internet cables running through it that are needed for today’s classrooms.

“All around the building we have cables running outside and to windows,” he said. “You can’t put cables through these thick walls.”

Moore also noted that the 345 students have to wait outside in all kinds of weather before school starts and there also are two modules that date back to the 1980s that the students use for a computer lab, science lab and for music class.

The school also has experienced problems with its roof and water and sewer systems.

“The sewer backs up all the time and we have to snake it out,” Moore said. “The pipes are 80 years old.”

If you take a tour of the building Moore will point out cracks in the building, where water leaks around windows, the lack of sidewalks around the building, the parking lot that has to be double parked, and the lack of handicap accessibility.

“There are a lot of steps in this building,” Moore said. “If we have an assembly and a grandparent wants to come watch (but is handicapped) we have to take them in through the custodian’s entrance and then we can only get them to the bottom floor.”

Another one of the many problems with the building is that it was not built for little children.

“The newer part of the building is where our youngest kids are,” he said. “They are trying to do personalized learning in a building not built for it. They do an excellent job though despite the rooms they are in. It’s like magic in here, unless it starts raining and then they have to move everything away from the windows.”

Learning in the school though when it’s hot is a whole different story. Temperatures on the third floor have reached 104 and 106 degrees and that’s in September.

Some of these problems may be able to be hid from outsiders, but the fact remains that the building is old and will only continue to deteriorate the longer hundreds of kids run through its halls.

“There is a crack in a wall in one of the stairways where I put pennies,” Moore said. “I started doing that six or seven years ago and there are nine pennies in there now.”

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of stories highlighting the school buildings in River View’s district.


A look at Conesville Elementary School

Year built: 1917

Renovations: 1935 and 1955

Current enrollment: 345

River View Local School Building Project

Problem: The current buildings have served the district well for a century, but they have become too outdated, inefficient and expensive to operate.

Solution: Close all four existing elementary buildings and place them in one new building that will attach to the existing junior high school. The junior high school and high school also will be renovated to today’s codes and the Ohio School Facilities Commission standards. Nineteen percent of the project will be paid for by the Ohio School Facilities Commission and the rest will be funded through a bond issue that will be voted on during a special election on Tuesday, Aug. 2.

Cost of the solution: The state’s share is $9,020,226 and the local share is $43,456,780. The bond to be voted on is 5.20 mils. The cost to the owner of a home valued at $102,500 is: $186.57 annually; $15.55 monthly; $3.59 weekly; and $0.51 daily.

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About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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