The Whatever it Takes Committee held an Open House Tuesday night at the Knox Community Elementary School in order to inform those attending of the proposed construction project on the May 7 ballot. Superintendent A.J. Gappa went over the specific problem areas in the 60-year-old Palmer Wing and how the project would be funded.
“I showed them the highlights of the problems with the HVAC units and the electrical system that’s maxed out,” said Gappa. “Door number seven fell in last year into a tunnel beneath it and we had to have that fixed. We also talked about wall separation in certain areas where the foundation is separating from the walls and the boiler system is outdated and in constant need of repair.”
Gappa also explained the way in which the school would fund the project and the impact on taxpayers.
You will see pictures of the troubled areas but they don’t tell the whole story.
One teacher told WKVI that she comes to school early every day to check for mold on the desks, chairs, books, walls and other surfaces before the children come into the class to prevent possible health issues. The moisture is so heavy in that section of the school that air has to be constantly moving through the rooms to prevent mold build-up.
Elementary Principal Glenn Barnes stated that while there is mold in the classrooms at times and all over that part of the school, the maintenance staff does what they can to prevent it. The air quality has been tested at a rate of “acceptable”.
The cafeteria staff has an extremely cramped area to work in to serve 1,000 students on a daily basis. There isn’t room for storage and there isn’t freezer space available. The staff has constant problems with keeping hot water available for cooking purposes and there isn’t enough space for equipment to properly cook hot meals for the students.
There may be more tour opportunities available before the voters go to the polls to cast their vote for or against the construction project.
Approximately 50 people attended the informational session and took the tour Tuesday night.