Covington BOE plans summer building maintenance

By Matt Clevenger

For the Miami Valley Today

COVINGTON — The Covington Exempted Village School District is planning a series of building maintenance projects this summer, starting with repairs to the high school gym floor.

“It’s getting stained and striped,” custodial maintenance coordinator Shawn Naff said. “Hopefully it will be done in mid-June. The other gym floor will get done the last week of July.”

Board of Education members discussed the district’s summer maintenance schedule during their regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, April 20.

“We’ve talked about the sidewalk to football,” Naff said. “We’re getting some quotes together for that.”

Board members also discussed the possibility of repairing bricks in the K-8 building’s front walkway. “I’d like to revisit the K-8 front sidewalk bricks,” Naff said.

“That is a massive area,” he said. “It’s about every 4-5 years you have to have them re-done; it’s a cost that we’re going to have to absorb, but they will settle. This is a main walkway, and we also salt it and plow it.”

“We’ve got a lot of small projects,” Naff said. “We’d also like to do seal and stripe two lots, and crack-seal every lot; we’ll put them on a rotation, where we don’t do them all in one summer.”

Board members also approved a $30,996 contract with J.O.S. Contracting for restroom renovations at Smith Field. “This is an increase of about $2,000,” Superintendent Gene Gooding said. “We want to get this started as soon as we can; this will cover that increase, and we’ll be able to move forward right away.”

“We had to push it back until after track season,” Naff said. “That’s the increase from November, when they quoted it, until now. If we get it approved today then the doors are 4-5 weeks out, which puts us in the first week of June to finish the project.”

In other business, board members also issued a Student Spotlight Award to Harrison Turner and a Staff Spotlight Award to athletic trainer Brian Downs.

“Harrison is an excellent student with a keen sense of humor,” assistant principal Bridgit Kerber said. “He is always willing to try new things and put forth his best effort.”

“This one is long overdue,” Gooding said. “Kids are better because he is in their classroom, and this school is better because he is here.”

Athletic trainer Brian Downs has been with the Covington schools for nine years. “We just appreciate him so much,” principal Josh Long said. “He’s got such a great rapport with our kids who are coming through here; he not only takes care of their injuries; he talks them through whatever they may be going through.”

“Kids trust him, and as importantly parents trust him,” Gooding said. “Our kids are safer because he’s in the building every day.”

The board also commended Lee Harmon, who recently earned a special Star Award from the Ohio School Board Association. “It’s a pretty big deal,” Gooding said. “He’s been a model board member; that’s dedication and training.”

Board members also discussed plans to conduct a parent survey to determine interest in the Lifewise Academy release-time religious instruction program. “We talked about this briefly at the last board meeting,” Gooding said. “I’m getting calls on both sides.”

“We haven’t discussed this with our staff,” he said. “That would be the next step, and then the survey to parents. We’ll plan on having that discussion in May; I could bring you the results of this survey and we would have a better idea what our community truly thinks about this, and be able to move forward.”

Board members also voted to recognize Monday, May 2 through Friday May 6 as National Teacher Appreciation Week. “It’s been a very challenging time to be a teacher, throughout the last three years especially,” Gooding said. “Our staff has done a fantastic job; we are very proud of them.”

Board members adjourned their meeting to go into executive session. The board’s next regularly scheduled meeting will be held at on Wednesday, May 18 at 5:30 p.m.