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Mathews schools prep for new year

VIENNA — While work is continuing at the athletic complex near Baker Elementary School, improvement projects also will be done during the summer at district buildings to prepare for the 2022-23 year.

Superintendent Russell McQuaide said at Wednesday’s board of education meeting the improvements and renovations at Booster Field will be ready for the new school year.

The project includes new bleachers, lighting, a press box and a new sound system along with other electrical updates.

The project is expected to cost about $800,000 and will be paid with funds from the permanent improvement levy. McQuaide has said the improvements serve as an investment for future generations.

A groundbreaking was held earlier this month for the athletic complex improvements.

“Work is proceeding at the site and is ahead of schedule getting the new stands. We have made progress on the work there,” McQuaide said.

The old stands, which were from the late 1960s, have been removed.

He said electrical work is set to start the week of July 11 at the fieldhouse and site. Old transformers will be removed.

Other work includes adding lighting at the stadium at $10,750 from Musco Lighting.

McQuaide said with the pressbox for the complex not expected to arrive until late August, the first few varsity football games likely will be held at the opposing teams’ schools. He said the first game is scheduled for Aug. 27.

The project is expected to be finished by late summer or early fall.

Non-athletic complex projects in the district this summer include work on restrooms. Approved were contracts with Equiparts for lavatory systems and sensor faucets at Baker at $9,216, and 11 toilets for Baker at $1,872; and a contract with Shiffler for bathroom stalls at the high school at $5,010 and at Baker at $6,480.

Other work includes Tondo Carpet installing tile in two classrooms and hallways at the high school at $12,080 and in two restrooms at Baker at $4,243. Boilers also will be inspected and cleaned at the high school by Prout Boiler, Heating and Welding Inc. at $3,100.

In other business, McQuaide said the board is reviewing safety in the buildings, including having discussions about House Bill 99, which allows staff to carry guns. He said safety team will be reviewing various issues this summer, but safety plan details can’t be discussed publicly.

The district has received ALICE active-shooter training.

McQuaide said he also is seeking grants to be used for student wellness and mental health.

He said school officials want to address items besides academics and athletics, such as mental well-being for any students who may be facing issues in or outside of school.

To help, the board approved a full-time social worker from Cadence Care Network at $24,000 for the school year.

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