Utility issues can interrupt learning at Warsaw Elementary

| June 28, 2016

WARSAW – Issues with utilities can interrupt learning at Warsaw Elementary School no matter how hard the staff tries not to let them.

“We just don’t have the capacity to provide electricity for everything we need,” said Principal Sherri Lawrence. “We can’t add any more power than we already have.”

Warsaw 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.

Most classrooms at Warsaw only have two outlets and teachers could have four Chromebooks that need plugged in plus a desktop computer and a Smart Board.

“Those plugs are only in the front and back of the room and with everything we have to do now they just don’t create a good learning environment,” Lawrence said. “Teachers have to run extension cords to do things and kids could trip over those.”

There also is a pipe on the ceiling of a first floor hallway that causes issues.

“It runs to the freezer in the kitchen and drips water on the floor,” Lawrence said. “They covered it with insulation, but the custodians still have to mop and put signs up so the kids walk around it.”

Another area of the school that has water damage is the art room.

“There is water damage from the floor above and there are leaks around the windows all the time,” Lawrence said.

The teacher hung a sign near the bad spot that says, “This ceiling leak since fixed took out six students’ art projects in April 2015.”

Lawrence also is concerned about the safety of one of the staircases and the gap between it and the windows.

“We have kindergarteners and preschoolers who use these stairs,” she said. “It would be very easy for one of them to sit down and dangle their legs or try and climb over.”

The school also has a vent on the roof that is held up by wires and needs to be carefully watched.

“If it gets knocked over, CO2 will back up in the building,” Lawrence said.

Warsaw, however, is the only school where a child with mobility issues or one who is in a wheelchair can attend. One of the staircases has a chair lift, but it is a very slow process and the lift doesn’t always work correctly.

“You have to transfer them to it, get them off at the landing, transfer them again and then get them off at the top or bottom,” Lawrence said. “It takes away from academic time.”

Even the bathrooms can be a frustration. Lawrence said the doors to the stalls in the girls’ bathroom don’t always shut and the urinals had to be taken out of the boys’ bathroom because the plumbing for them was leaking down on the school’s boiler system.

“If you’d ask the custodians, they would say plumbing is their number one issue with the building,” Lawrence said.

Staff is constantly finding ways to handle the issues with the building, but solutions are only temporary fixes.

“Our buildings look almost brand new at the beginning of the year, but we have to spend so much money annually on repairs that could be used on other aspects of education,” Lawrence said.

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

A look at Warsaw Elementary School

Year built: 1893

Renovations: 1897, 1927, 1936, 1951, 1957

Current enrollment: 338

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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