Bond Project summer update and opening school for 2021-2022 school year in August.
Asad Khan introduced August 3, 2021 speaker George Joseph, Superintendent of Kent City Schools the past 7 years and a Kent Rotarian. He noted that that George was born in Pennsylvania but did his graduate work at Kent State University and spent his whole career in education. His presentation was titled Kent City Schools: Capital Improvement Projects Update.
In his opening comments, George Joseph thanked the community for their support in being able to provide significant upgrades to our school buildings and properties. He indicated that the breadth of the projects to be completed has been divided into two phases. Phase One is underway. Using pictures, he gave a brief overview of each project including:
  1. The installation of LED lighting, replacing old cost inefficient lighting. This has resulted in brighter, safer lighting. He noted, with humor, that they can now see areas in need of paint they couldn’t see before.
  2. The replacement of 50-year-old uninvents and the installation of air conditioning in every elementary school. He noted that Bipolar Ionization units are incorporated in each unit, decontaminating the air and reducing odors, providing significant safety for students during the COVID pandemic, and unmatched anywhere in the county. He also noted that outside air coming into the rooms is now at 35%, an increase over the old units.
  3. The establishment of Secure Vestibules and an electronic visitor identification system. Entry during the school day by parents and visitors will consist of scanning a driver’s license, securing BCI approval, and then receiving a visitor badge.
  4. The schools are all receiving upgrades in electrical service necessary to meet the demands of the improved air handling and conditioning. This includes the high school, even though the upgrades will be in Phase 2 next summer.
  5. The replacement of flooring at Stanton Middle School. While only 20 years old, the flooring is deteriorating and in need of replacing.
  6. The gym floors in Holden and Walls elementary are being replaced with a material for multi-purpose use, including lunches and large programs. The gym floors at Davey and Longcoy are in great shape and are going to be refinished.
  7. Artificial turf is being installed at Roosevelt Stadium with an expanded drainage system. The endzones will be red and the field a dark green with our logo in the center.
Following these remarks, George apologized upfront for new lines needing installation that will cause route 43 to be reduced to two lanes in October for a week and a half.  He then gave a brief listing of the Phase 2 projects planned to start this fall. These include:
  1. Building of a Field House at Roosevelt Stadium.
  2. Building a new competition gym at Roosevelt High School, noting the age of the old gym and low ceilings.
  3. Extending the stage in the Roosevelt Auditorium to improve sound.
  4. Reworking parking lots and traffic patterns at Roosevelt to eliminate road between student and staff parking lots.
The Phase 2 Projects for summer 2022 include:
  1. Completion of the HVAC upgrades at Davey and Roosevelt.
  2. Natatorium upgrades.
  3. Completion of Roosevelt Gym addition and Field House.
  4. Replacement of Stanton’s Roof and Davey floor finishes.
He closed the formal presentation, thanking the club for the opportunity to update the progress being made. In response to specific questions from our members about the projects, he noted the following:
-The life expectancy of the new stadium turf is 10 years and they have already begun plans for paying for it.
-Only one of the trailers will be removed at Walls Elementary following the addition next summer.
-The security systems will not be used for after school activities opened to the community.
-Access to the new competition gym will be through the current doors, as well as from a new entrance behind the current building.
-All the elementary building will have air conditioning.
The response was provided by Roger Sidoti. He thanked Superintendent Joseph for his leadership of our school district and managing the capital improvements during a time of unprecented demands of the COVID 19 pandemic on school leaders.