Local schools prepare for summer

Published 12:04 am Monday, May 18, 2015

NATCHEZ — A number of projects are planned during the summer months for area school facilities.

Natchez-Adams School District

Public relations coordinator Steven Richardson said most major projects to update schools within the Natchez-Adams School District were completed during the school year.

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“It’s usually uncommon to get projects done during the school year because they don’t like to disturb instruction time,” Richardson said. “The projects were not going to disturb instruction time this year. Instead, they did work around the school’s schedule.”

The Steckler Multipurpose Room at Natchez High School received significant changes this school year.

Richardson said the district was able to remove all of the carpet in the Steckler Multipurpose Room and stain the floors to add the school’s logo — a request by Superintendent Frederick Hill.

The Natchez High School band room was also remodeled — where the district removed the carpet and retiled the floors, Richardson said.

A kitchen, which will serve for cooking purposes, was created at the district’s central alternative school this school year as well.

The kitchen will not be a room to provide lunch for students.

However, district schools were not the only buildings to see additional changes.

The Natchez-Adams School District’s Braden administration building now has an exercise room for district-wide employees only.

The exercise room has been operational for two months and includes treadmills and weight training.

“We are focusing on health lifestyles,” Richardson said. “There’s a lot more opportunity during the school day for students to be active. So we want to take this and offer our employees the chance to maintain a healthy lifestyle by including exercise time for their daily schedule.”

The use of the exercise room is optional for district teachers and only available during administration hours.

The first floor of the Braden administration building was also repainted.

As an ongoing project, the district is working on replacing fluorescent lights with LED lights at Natchez Freshman Academy.

“The project will extend past summer because they are hoping to change the lights throughout the district, but that will take some time,” Richardson said.

Replacing florescent lights with LED lights is expected to save a sufficient amount of money for the district.

Concordia Parish Schools

Concordia Parish School’s Director of Business Affairs Tom O’Neal said there are several items on the agenda to upgrade schools this summer.

“We are trying to finish the parking lot at Ferriday Junior High School,” O’Neal said. “The parking lot will be finished probably within the next month.”

O’Neal said once the parking lot is completed, the school board will take down the old gym and make it a staff parking lot.

A new gym was constructed at Ferriday Junior High School earlier this year.

After the staff parking lot is developed, O’Neal said he hopes to enlarge the cafeteria at Ferriday Junior High School and push it towards the front.

“We just like to cut down some of the confusion because kids eat in shifts,” O’Neal said. “My goal is to do it this summer.”

O’Neal said Monterey High School’s library has roofing problems and will receive updates.

“I’m going to try and redesign the roof and put a metal roofing on it,” O’Neal said.

Trinity Episcopal Day School

Trinity Head of School Les Hegwood said the school is expected to redo the high school floors this summer and build a new breezeway on the middle school.

Trinity will also receive roof repairs throughout the campus and install landscaping around the newly developed walkway between the high school and lower elementary school.

“Roof work is essential,” Hegwood said. “They are in good shape but we have to do some maintenance on them.”

Hegwood said the school saw a sufficient increase in student enrollment this year and will install significant technology equipment such as a Promethean boards in classrooms that the school didn’t use to cope with the changes.

“It’s what you have to do,” Hegwood said. “You have to make the school a place that is good for learning.”

Cathedral School

Cathedral School will lower the ceilings in all elementary classrooms this summer and place a drop ceiling — a secondary ceiling hung below the main structural ceiling — in the elementary cafeteria.

Cathedral Principal Pat Sanguinetti said lowering the ceilings might result in less noise.

“It’s going to enhance the rooms,” Sanguinetti said. “They are going to be more energy efficient.”

Adams County Christian School

Adams County Christian School headmaster David King said there will be no major changes for the school this year.

“We are like every other school,” King said. “We are always looking for ways to improve our facility. It’s just minor things that you have to replace every year.”