TROY — Maintenance is performed on the Troy City Schools’ buildings and facilities throughout the year, but the heavy lifting is done during the summer months, when the district’s nine school buildings are largely empty of students and staff.
“We’ll start in early June and try to have most of our work done by the beginning of August, because that’s when you have a lot of teachers starting to come in and get their rooms ready,” said Troy City Schools Director of Transportation, Facilities and Maintenance Tytus Jacobs. “We’ve always got plenty of work to do in the summer, especially.”
The summer months are when most of the major repair and refurbishing projects take place throughout the district. This summer, the most-costly capital improvement project has been the repair of the roof at Cookson Elementary School. Roughly 40 percent of the roof at Cookson — including the areas over the gymnasium, kitchen and north wing — are being replaced. The remaining portions of the roof will have to be replaced at a later date.
“The safety of our students is our No. 1 concern,” Jacobs said. “We want to be able to provide a clean, healthy environment that is conducive for learning. When you are making roof repairs, it’s because you don’t want that water intrusion, which can lead to many potential health hazards. Every time water comes in, something bad could happen to the roof deck.”
The cost to repair the roof will be $310,450, which will come from funds generated by a 1.1-mill capital improvement levy, which was renewed by voters last November.
Jacobs said this year’s roofing project at Cookson will be one of many roofing projects throughout the district in the coming years.
“Once we get done with this, the rest of the roof will still need to be replaced,” Jacobs said. “And then you have to start looking at the roofs at our other schools within the district. There is something to be done within the district, roof-wise, for at least the next five years.”
Other major projects this summer include, but are not limited to: installing a portable stairs climber at the Van Cleve 6th Grade Building; patching, sealing and restriping part of Ferguson Drive between Troy High School and Troy Junior High School; sealcoating and striping the parking lot at Troy Junior High School and patching various areas around the Troy City Schools bus compound. There also are a number of improvements going on at Troy’s athletic facilities, including the re-sodding of the field at Troy Memorial Stadium, the installation of a new track at the stadium and the re-coating of the tennis courts at Troy High School.
“Your ‘big-ticket’ items are always going to be roofs, masonry, plumbing, pavement, asphalt, boilers and concrete work,” Jacobs said. “Those things all take money, especially with these older buildings. We have a lot of older buildings in our district and they all need some sort of work done every year to make sure we are keeping the students safe. That is always our No. 1 goal, keeping our students safe and to provide a healthy environment conducive for learning.”
The newest school building in the district is Troy Junior High School, which was built in 1973. The oldest building in the district is Van Cleve, which was built in 1914. Other school buildings in the district include: Concord Elementary School (originally built in 1919, with four additions since then), Heywood Elementary School (built in 1930), Forest Elementary School (1949), Kyle Elementary School (1950), Troy High School (1958), Cookson Elementary School (1964) and Hook Elementary School (1966).
All told, Troy City Schools will spend $698,445.75 on capital improvement projects this year. The 1.1-mill capital improvement levy generates roughly $730,000 each year.
In addition to the capital improvement projects going on, every school building is scrubbed, top to bottom, every summer.
“Every summer our regular custodians and the summer help we hire give a thorough cleaning to every building. We obviously keep them clean throughout the school year, as well, but in the summer, we are able to do things we can’t do during the year,” Jacobs said. “We are able to clean the lights, walls and windows. All of the floors are buffed or waxed. The restrooms are all cleaned from top to bottom.
“We wash every single desk. Not just the tops, but we actually go inside the desks and clean them. If there’s gum on the bottom of a chair, we scrape it off,” he said. “There are probably 50 people we bring in. It’s a heck of a stable of workers we depend on every summer.”