Superintendent's Update - Fall 2018

Published: October 1, 2018

Hello UCCCJSD Team and Families, I hope this message finds you well!

It is hard to believe that we are completing our 7th week of school already. I know all of you, regardless of your official title, have been hard at work, doing great things for kids. I want to thank you for your care and concern with children, and for helping ensure a great start to the 2018-2019 school year. Also, a special welcome and thank you, to our new team members joining us this year. Your hard work is noted and appreciated. All of you have helped make our excellent team, even better!

I wanted to take a moment and share some specific information with everyone.

  • First, our current building projects of UCMS/CCUS roofing improvements, and CCUS window and brick lintel improvements are about 90% completed. These were obviously large projects and took longer to complete than originally expected. I believe our contractors have done a good job of working around our instructional time to not disrupt student learning. Thank you for being patient as we worked through this.
  • Second, as you know, we have had some growing pains with PowerSchool that stemmed specifically from a nationwide PowerSchool registration server malfunction in July. This required many extra steps for us locally, as well as PowerSchool internally, to get our information migrated. I apologize for this issue and delay. However, I am happy to report that we have sent communication to all parents at all buildings providing them directions to access their student accounts. If you have not received this it should be in route to you. Once we get all parents to complete this verification process we should be totally functional. Again, my apologies to staff and parents for this delay. If you are a parent or guardian, and you do not receive the verification instructions by Monday, October 1st, please call your appropriate school building and we will assist you.

At this time we are in the planning process for the next set of building projects. You may have heard about this or read about it in the Liberty Herald. I thought you might like some more detailed information regarding our building needs and plans.

  • First, we are working to acquire a $5million dollar Bond. Due to some previous Bonds we have paid-in-full this new Bond will not impact our tax rate. We have some other budgetary needs that will impact our rate, but it is not the result of this project.
  • It is important to note that we are still awaiting for firm bids for the proposed projects. So, the final scope of the project is still a work in progress.
  • The proposed improvement include:
    • The rest of our building envelop needs. Including roofing work at all campuses, window work in the Red Brick Building, and brick work known as tuck-pointing and sealants. This represents about half of the Bond.
    • Next, we are looking at upgrading security at the entrances of our buildings. These are sensitive pieces of information, so I will not share too much over the world-wide web. Please know, that safety and security continue to be of the utmost importance.
    • Third, we have been investigating an LED light project. As you know some of our buildings are aged and thus have aged equipment. We spend many man hours repairing and replacing our current lights all around the school corporation. Upgrading our schools to LED lights would remove the need for our maintenance staff to spend so much time on light replacement, as well as represent a substantial reduction to our yearly electrical bill. There is also a substantial rebate if we complete this project before the end of the calendar year. Thus, this is the one piece of the project that has been officially approved by the School Board, and will being in the next 2-4 weeks.
    • Fourth, we also have an aging HVAC and other mechanical systems in many parts of our buildings. We need some replaced boilers at UCMS, we need to replace water heaters at UCHS, UCMS, and LES. We are in need of replacing about 30 heat pumps between LES and UCHS (these items were last replaced over 20 years ago). We are also looking at updating some of our entrances because of the climate control issues that exist when there is only one set of doors separating our interior from the elements. An example is the varsity gymnasium entrance. I am sure you have been in the gym and thought that it was either too cold or too hot. Part of the reason for that is because there is only one set of doors between the elements and our interior. This makes it very difficult to regulate the temperature correctly.

I hope this helps provide you some more detailed information about the current plans we are working on to provide students and staff dry, comfortable, and economically smart school buildings. Buildings that can continue to stand the test of time with good quality preventative maintenance efforts. I would be happy to sit with anyone to review information in more detail, or answer any questions you may have.

Thank you for your continued work on behalf of our students and thank you for your continued support of Union County College Corner JSD.

Sincerely,

Christopher Winchell, Superintendent