By Leah Allen
BC Staff Writer
Monday the Cleveland School Board of Trustees held its first meeting of the school year and maintenance supervisor Shane Hayes updated the board on the construction at Cleveland Central High School.
“The final construction walk through is scheduled for Friday,” said Hayes.
“Final, as in the elevator is working,” inquired trustee Todd Fuller.
“Right. I got all of the certificates of compliance from the elevator inspection crew and for the wheelchair lift,” continued Hayes.
The elevator and chairlift were part of a major construction project that began during the spring to ensure district compliance with the requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Work was done at numerous schools to improve accessibility and update old equipment.
There was also a good deal of general construction taking place at multiple campuses, such as the parking lot at Cleveland Central Middle School which was graded and had a better outdoor drainage system installed.
In addition the flooring in the Career and Technology Building was also replaced.
Enrollment as of Friday was already at 3,390 for the district, which is the same number of students who were enrolled in May at the close of last the school year.
“I registered two students today so I know that we will continue to add on to this number as the year progresses,” said Superintendent Dr. Jackie Thigpen.
Thigpen said the district had received “our letter from the State Department of Education so we have been accredited for this school year.”
The staff at Hayes Cooper, H.M. Nailor, and Cleveland Central High School will receive school recognition funds for earning improved school ratings.
However there are still areas the district is working to improve and one of the current major concerns is aging roofs at some of the schools.
“We have been battling this. During the last round of rain we had two schools with small leaks that we were able to narrow down. They are out of warranty and we are patching them. It’s pretty good stuff but its finding the leak that it the problem,” said Hayes.
“We patched what we cold find and I did a walk through today and didn’t see anything major or minor. The biggest issues have been over at Pearman and Parks. The way things look right now, if we are going to replace one Parks would be first on my list,” said Hayes.
Some concerns were also brought up during the public comments portion of the meeting.
“I know that you guys don’t know things unless we tell you,” said Amy Kitchens, a teacher at Cleveland Central High School. “We have spent a lot of money bringing the buildings up to code. If we could do some maintenance work, and get things before they are too bad, we could save some money in the future.”
Kitchens went on to list some of the maintenance concerns she has with areas around the campus, such as the air-conditioning and old ceiling tiles.
“I just wanted to bring these things to your attention and invite you to walk through the school and see what needs to be fixed,” said Kitchens.
“It doesn’t make us look good. What message are we sending to our kids? How important do they feel when there is no toilet paper in the bathroom,” she added.
They took a moment to offer condolences to board attorney Jamie Jacks on the passing of her father-in-law Gerald Jacks, who previously served as the attorney for the school board.
“Please tell the Jacks family, on behalf of the board, how much we have appreciated Gerald over the years,” said Richard Boggs.