By Sue Moore
Vicksburg High School’s building will receive a facelift, Asst. Supt. Steve Goss told the school board at its January meeting. It will have bigger exterior windows to let more light into the classrooms and achieve energy efficiencies and better ventilation. The new windows will be tinted with internal shades like those installed in a hallway at Tobey Elementary last year.
“The finishes are cracking and bubbling on the exterior,” Goss said. “We are dealing with materials that are failing. The stucco needs to be replaced and the entry ways will be remodeled. We will have a buzzer interlock system installed for safety precautions,” he told the board.
“We don’t intend to make major structural changes to the buildings such as secured foyers, moving building offices as some people would like, because we don’t believe those investments do anything to stop a highly determined intruder. But to us, electronic access controls, including video phones at key entrances, seem like a cost-effective way to improve day to day building security,” Goss explained.
The exterior renovations will make for a much better look and lots more light in the classrooms, he pointed out. “It’s a 30-year solution and more maintenance free.” The last big remodeling for energy savings took place in the middle 80s and has run its lifetime he said.
The work will be done over the summer as part of the next bond issue from a millage that was passed in 2014. Other maintenance work will include re-roofing on the middle school, mechanical controls at Indian Lake elementary and at the high school this summer. The middle school will have four upgraded bathrooms; two bathrooms at Indian Lake will be made more accessible.
High School Report Card
Keevin O’Neill, high school principal, told the board of the many successes his students have had over the past school year. He was especially proud of the way students have given back to the community through taking part in the Michigan blood drive, filling all of the available slots. The food drive conducted by the students reaped over 4,000 items for South County Community Services.
“There is so much talent in this building; for instance the DECCA business club qualified for the state contests, the Chamber Singers participated in a concert with the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra at Christmas time. The color guard with the marching band now numbers 30 members and won several awards during the fall series of competitions. Our machine tool lab is fully computerized with CNC machines donated by Stryker and Eimo, because of our partnership with these businesses.
Gail VanDaff, curriculum director, and Melissa Wilson, school psychologist, presented a report on ensuring that all students can learn at every level. “We are developing standards for each student and monitoring to know when they have mastered them. It is our job to respond if they don’t get it and re-teach the subject matter before they move forward. We are developing a multi-tiered system of supports which helps us decide eligibility for special education. We want to know what each student is expected to learn and how we will know if and when they have learned it.”