Belleville schools are undergoing a series of repairs and improvements to get ready for the new school year.
School Board member Joseph Longo toured the district’s eight schools this week and talked about some of the improvements – which include new paint, flooring and lighting. Longo is on the buildings and grounds committee.
School No. 3 has new sidewalks and front steps. The light fixtures in the all-purpose room have been placed with new, brighter, energy-efficient bulbs.
“That was part of a general, overall electrical upgrade to School No.3,” Longo said.
At School No. 5, the floor in the art room was replaced. “The floor had become kind of wavy, and was becoming a hazard, and now it is brand new,” Longo said.
There is a small baseball and softball field at School No. 7, just beyond the concrete parking lot. Longo said that the 500-foot retaining wall and adjacent fence were replaced in a just a few days.
“The maintenance crew are very good, and fast, and they also repainted the entire school interior,” he said.
At School No. 9, old, damaged ceilings were replaced, and new, more efficient, lighting was included. Several areas were repainted as well, Longo said.
At the Belleville Middle School, the auditorium of the school that served as Belleville’s high school until the 1960s was refurbished. “It was greatly in need of upgrade,” Longo said.
Hundreds of feet of copper water pipes were replaced at the high school, and work has begun to repair the roof covering the gym, he said.
Seeing an aging room go from old to new is eye-opening, Longo said.
“I’ve seen the maintenance guys remove a rug and put down tile, install new cabinets and desktops, and a room goes from dark and dank to bright and open,” he said.
Some maintenance is done to all schools each summer.
“All of the boilers have been cleaned, expected and passed,” Longo said. “Also, health inspections are completed at all school cafeterias.”
Longo said that he has watched the district’s maintenance staff in action for many years, and has liked the results.
“When you see these guys go at it, it is really impressive,” he said. “The facilities are in good hands.”