The long-awaited new gym locker room and lobby expansion project has begun at McClain, and board members had a look around what was happening so far following the conclusion of Monday’s school board meeting.
If anyone has noticed the gravel path that has been laid by the middle school from Jefferson Street to the colonnades, you might be wondering what that is all about.
According to superintendent Quincey Gray, making this path for equipment and material movement was the least invasive way to access the area of the new gym, especially as the new gym is to remain accessible during the project.
A few hedges have been removed and some grass has been displaced, but everything that is not easily replaceable has been completely protected and even avoided.
As demolition has begun across the whole area to be renovated, a dumpster for the materials has been placed near the middle school.
The expansion will extend the east side of the new gym facade out into the courtyard, allowing more room on the first floor to add ticketing and a concession area and more space on the second floor for additional locker room space in both the girls’ and boys’ areas. The project also includes renovating the outdated restrooms in the first-floor lobby.
The project is scheduled to be completed by the first of November and is not anticipated to interfere with access to the new gym.
Following the meeting, Gray and McClain Principal Matt Shelton led board members on a tour of some spots that have been improved over the summer, as well as some hidden places.
There’s new flooring in the classrooms and hallway of the new vocational building, and there’s new flooring in the three preschool classrooms in the elementary building. The latter, Gray said, replaces carpet that is not the healthiest option for little ones who are on the floor a lot and who are good at making messes.
Board members were also able to see the completed eSports room, which is located on the second floor of the high school.
As to hidden places, there’s lots of tunnels and underground spaces beneath the campus, and board members were able to see some of those. The group descended a spiral stair to the cellar-like area under the special programs offices in the middle school.
They were able to see what lay under the vocational building, past storage and heating equipment and water softeners to under the pool, where all the pool filtration equipment hums, and peer into a passageway that leads under the TV and radio studio.
Next, the tour went to see the new gym expansion project that was recently begun and take in all the demolition that is making way for improvement of the area.
Then, it was up to the balcony of the old gym to a large storage room off to the side where one of MHS’s four Latin-inscribed Moravian panels, on what was once the exterior of the high school before the new gym was built in the 1970s, can be viewed.
The tour then ventured through the auditorium to beside the stage where there is a small room where students in productions change their wardrobe.
The expansion of the new gym locker rooms is also meant to accommodate these students providing a much more appropriate area for wardrobe changes. Board members were able to walk through the cramped room and go down a staircase to a low-ceilinged room covered in graffiti from students through the years, which provided a few moments of interesting and amusing perusal.
The room, one of the board members said, used to be a locker room and was accessible through a small half-height door that is still there. Through the tight and colorful room lies a small, near-pristine room where the McClain Cadet Corps stores its gear.
Next was a brief time spent in the library on the way to the rooftop above the west side of McClain. From there, board members could see the progress being made on a current stone-cleaning project around the building.
They could also view the grounds from this bird’s-eye view, remember their days in the high school that brought them to the roof for physics experiments, and envision what it was like decades ago when the rooftops were actually utilized by students and clubs long before modern building mechanics brought with it rubber overlayment and large ductwork snaking across the spaces.
In other business
Gray said Monday was the day all principals returned to school and that the district was busy readying for the new school year. Students’ first day back is Aug. 19.
Gray also discussed a topic from the building and grounds committee meeting, which is the possibility of signage for the grounds that would help better direct people who are not familiar with the campus.
The superintendent also noted the great turnout for Sunday’s Edward Lee McClain Day ceremony. Also, she said the McClain Cadet Corps and McClain Marching Band marched in Sunday’s Greene Countrie Towne Festival Grand Parade.
“It was so nice to have them marching,” she said, adding that it’s been too long since there has been marching with everything that was cancelled last year. Overall, she said, it was “a great weekend in the village.”
Additionally, school board members were provided a year-in-review from Curt Bradshaw of the Southern Ohio Educational Service Center in WIlmington.
That update, he said, is typically done at the spring four-county meeting, but as that has been canceled the last two years due to Covid-19, Southern Ohio ESC representatives have been going in-person to school board meetings to share the updates.
The Southern Ohio Educational Service Center covers Adams, Clinton, Fayette, and Highland counties.
The organization provides a number of services to member school districts and partner organizations that include professional development, online resources for parents and educators, special education services, and a lot more. For more information about the organization, go to southernohioesc.org.
Employment recommendations approved by the board are: Holly Marie Jaycox, middle school math; Teresa Carr, high school Spanish; Clarence Watkins, monitor; Drew Hamilton, golf assistant; Danae Orr-Zody, volleyball assistant; Bob Bergstrom, volunteer football assistant and volunteer boys track assistant; Taylor Baker, football assistant; Justin Osborne, eighth grade football; and Devin Penwell, eighth grade football and baseball assistant.
The next regular session of the Greenfield Exempted Village School District Board of Education is scheduled for Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. at the central office boardroom. For news and updates, visit greenfield.k12.oh.us or the district’s Facebook page. Individual buildings also have their own Facebook pages.