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Brookfield schools OK $2.3M repair

Project to fix flooring at middle school to take place over summer

BROOKFIELD — After spending the past 10 years walking in hallways, restrooms and a few classrooms at the middle school with uneven flooring, the Brookfield Board of Education has approved moving forward with a $2.33 million project this summer.

Superintendent Toby Gibson told the board the project will begin after the school year, with plans to complete it before the start of the 2021-22 school year.

The board at a special meeting Wednesday approved participation in a corrective action remedial project to address a soil expansion issue.

Treasurer Julie Sloan said the total estimated cost of the project is $2.3 million, with the school district paying 36 percent and the state paying 64 percent provided by Ohio Facilities Construction Commission. The middle school was opened in 2011.

Gibson, who at one time served as middle school principal, said the floor began cracking in a middle school hallway. He said when a person stands by the water fountain, he / she seems taller because of the elevated floor.

Officials have said during construction, shale was exposed and expanded, causing the concrete to lift and crack.

Gibson said they have had different engineers and companies look at the building to come up with a remedy and potential costs for repairing the structural problems.

“The majority of the problem is in the hallway and the restrooms and part of an adjacent classroom,” he said.

The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, the successor of the Ohio School Facilities Commission, was the district’s partner in building the new school complex in 2011.

The new K-12 complex was designed and constructed in partnership with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, as a co-funded Classroom Facilities Assistance Program project, at total cost of $31.42 million. The state’s share was $20.1 million, and the local share was $11.3 million.

The district filed a corrective action plan with the OFCC in May 2019. The application will be presented March 25 at the OFCC meeting. School officials said they would work with OFCC to see who is at fault for some of the problems and how they can be rectified.

He said a few walls will need to be taken out to get below the flooring.

A few years ago, the district hired CTL Engineering of Akron to monitor the movement of the shale and look over a failed 2013 repair attempt.

Board member Jerry Necastro said he was concerned the project may not be able to be done in time for the start of the 2021-22 year.

“Do we need to have an alternative plan in place if they are not done by August?” Necastro said.

Gibson said one positive during the pandemic is students are familiar with working remotely and if the project is not done for the start of the new school year, the middle school students would need to start the year remotely.

He said the project will go out for bid shortly and contractors should be secured by April or May.

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