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Schools bells to ring this week for students' new year

by Marsha McKenna senior editor Published: August 14, 2016 12:00 AM
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Sorry, kids, it's that time again: alarm clocks, getting to the bus stop on time and homework.

This week, students in the Stow-Munroe Falls schools will begin the 2016-17 school year. And if it seems this summer went faster than past ones, you're right -- an earlier start date was approved by the Board of Education to bring the district in line with the other Six District Compact schools and state testing requirements.

The first day of school for grades one through seven and nine will be Aug. 18. Grades eight and 10 through 12 will start on Aug. 19 with kindergartners beginning their school careers on Aug. 22.

These staggered start dates allow incoming seventh-graders and high school freshmen to have a day of orientation to assist in the transition to a new building.

The school day at the elementary level will be 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Students at Lakeview Intermediate will go from 8:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., while the times for Kimpton Middle School will be 8 a.m. to 2:38 p.m. The high school's day will run from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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Students may find their classrooms a little cooler in which to do their schoolwork. Commercial air conditioning units with generators are scheduled to be put in place this week for temporary use at Highland, Fishcreek, Echo Hills, Woodland and Riverview elementary schools and Lakeview Intermediate School.

Air conditioning is already in use at the high school, Kimpton Middle School and Indian Trail Elementary School.

The units will be placed outside the school buildings for a six-week period each year, from mid-August to the end of September. The units will be powered by the generators and feed cooled air into the buildings through ductwork, according to the district's director of operations, Mark Fritz. He added there will be fans placed throughout the buildings to circulate the cooled air.

The units will run on diesel fuel and will operate Monday through Friday between 5 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the outside temperature is above 73 degrees and/or the humidity inside reaches 55 percent.

"If it's 90 degrees outside, with 300 students and staff, it can go to 95 to 100 degrees [in the building]," he told the Stow Sentry. "This would bring it down to about 80 degrees."

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More student parking is available for the 2016-17 school year at Stow-Munroe Falls High School, according to Fritz.

A current gravel lot was paved this summer, and additional space has been graveled, creating 400 spaces, Fritz told the Stow Sentry.

This will bring the total number of parking spots to 1,000, with approximately 300 for staff.

In addition, with the new school year, there will be dedicated teacher/staff parking with gates now installed in the front lot nearest to the building. Entrance to that section of the parking lot will be limited by the use of semi-permanent barricades, while the layout is evaluated through the beginning of the school year, Fritz said. There will still be a row available outside the gated section for visitors and handicap parking.

Fritz is also working with the University of Akron to engineer a project that would "improve the flow of parking and the entrance."

For those attending football games and other events in the high school stadium, hand railings have been installed in the bleachers, Fritz said.

He said all schools had grinding, sealing and patching of the parking lots done, which is cheaper than replacement of those areas. "It's better to fix as much as we can rather than replacing them," Fritz said.

Lakeview's gym floor is being sanded and resurfaced, which Fritz said hasn't been done in 15 years. However, it won't be finished for the beginning of the school year, he said, adding the gym teachers are aware and will be working around it. But once it's done, "it will look as good as the high school's," Fritz said.

He gave kudos to his staff for getting the projects wrapped up, with two fewer weeks of summer vacation to complete the tasks. Even with a lot of vacations being taken, "it all came together," he said.

And if you're looking ahead -- the last day for students will be May 25, 2017.

Email: mmckenna@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9430

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