Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

August 27, 2013

District notes building improvements

Tony Huffman
Effingham Daily News

EFFINGHAM — With the new school year started, students will notice many changes around various Effingham schools.

Unit 40 Business Director Rem Woodruff outlined many of the projects at the district’s school board meeting Monday.

Of the many projects completed over the summer, two of the biggest were a new surface to the high school track and new finishes on several gym floors in the district.

At the high school, 15 years of sealant was stripped from the high school gym floor, said Woodruff. New sealant was put down, which gave the gym floor a new appearance and shine, continued Woodruff.

“It looks very sharp,” he said.

Additionally, the gym floors at Effingham Junior High and Edgewood schools were refinished.

Woodruff informed the board that work is continuing on the safe entrance project at Effingham High School, which will give school officials the ability to buzz visitors into the school, no longer letting people through the entrance by the cafeteria.

Other summer projects include:

n At the Edgewood school, an uneven front sidewalk, which had a three-inch lip into the entrance of the school, was leveled out with new concrete. Rubber chips, culvert drainage work and new paint in the gym were also completed, said Woodruff.

n At Central School, 168 computers were updated with additional memory and monitors. The gym was also painted, along with repairs to capping on the roof that was letting water blow into the gym.

n At the Early Learning Center, tables were replaced and the cafeteria was painted.

n At South Side School, rubber chips were added on the playground. In addition, ground that accumulated water after a rain near the playground was leveled and grass has been seeded and grown in that area.

n At the Effingham Junior High, gaps in the railing in the gym were filled with Plexiglass. The Plexiglass will allow people to still view the gym floor, according to Woodruff. Additionally, limestone was filled in on the track for the Physical Education class to better use the area.

In other news, the board:

n Heard from Assistant High School Principal Cody Lewis on past and present graduation rates. Effingham High School is projected to graduate 91.1 percent of its students this year, compared to 78 percent who graduated last year. Lewis attributes the expected rise in the graduation rate to a higher level of counseling for students, parents and decreased number of expulsions.

n Heard that districtwide enrollment is down by 100 students. The total enrollment for the district is 2,604 students.

n Heard from Superintendent Mark Doan that the law firm of Franczek Radelet has completed a study that will reclaim $18,435 in state aid for the district. Like many other districts in the state, law firms are hired to look back through the previous tax year to find funds that are owed the district. The General Assembly for the state has created a pool of money that these funds are paid, according to Doan.

n Heard from Band Director Peter Manzi on the upcoming band trip. All 130 band members have the opportunity to go to New York April 1 through 6. Trip activities include tours of Carnegie Hall, a clinic with the pit director of a Broadway show, various tourist activities, and a performance by the high school band on the Spaceship Intrepid. Cost of the trip is $900.