New Fairborn superintendent says two schools need replaced
FAIRBORN< Ohio (WRGT) -- Fairborn school officials say several of their buildings are beyond repair and need to be replaced. Some buildings have no air conditioning, roofs that leak into classrooms and areas that flood every time it rains. District superintendent Mark North said this is not the way kids should learn in Fairborn. When the days are hot and 1,200 kids fill Fairborn Primary School, North says it can be a challenge.
"It's a miserable day for the kids and the staff. It makes it very hard. It makes it hard to concentrate."
FOX 45 took a tour of Fairborn Primary School on Monday, August 22, as teachers were preparing their classrooms for the first day of school.
Nearly every window and door in the building was open, and fans were blowing in the classrooms to cool the building. The 60-year-old building has a long list of issues. Superintendent North showed us the boiler room where the furnace, water heater and phone lines are located.
"What we have to do is we have to keep a fan on this phone system," said North. The fan is on 24/7. Otherwise, the school's phone system will shut down.
The building also has four original furnaces.
"Unfortunately, we can't run all four furnaces at the same time," he said. Only two can run at a time because it's too hard on the system.
The water heater is also showing its age. A loud hum can be heard coming from it.
"You can hear it grinding in the background. It's old. We don't know how long it's gonna last," said North, who just took over as superintendent at the beginning of August. But, he said these are some of the worst school buildings he's ever seen.
"School facilities in the Appalachian hills of southern Ohio are in much better condition than the buildings here," he said.
But, North said there's too much to fix. The buildings need to be replaced. The school board placed a bond issue on the November ballot to raise $34.5 million for two new elementary buildings.
"What that comes down to is $103.25 per year on a $100,000 home. That breaks down to $1.99 a week," he said.
The total construction cost for the two schools is actually $58 million. The state of Ohio will pay 40 percent of the cost. North said he knows it's tough to pass a school bond issue in November. But, he's hoping the state help will be enough to convince voters.
If the November bond issue passes, the two buildings replaced would be Fairborn Primary School and Fairborn Intermediate School. North said the new buildings will also allow technological upgrades that they can't do in their current facilities.