Early in the 2018-19 school year, Polson School District Superintendent Rex Weltz took time to talk about maintenance issues and upgrading of the interior of buildings.
“We are replacing all of the auditorium chairs at the high school,” Weltz said, and those chairs date back to around 1977. “We have community concerts and winter concerts in there.”
However, there was a delay with the order, and the chairs were to arrive soon and be installed by the end of September.
There will also be a new curtain and sound system in the auditorium, which seats more than 700 people and is the largest such facility in the Mission Valley, according to Weltz.
A HUGE ISSUE in the district since last winter’s heavy snow is the status of the Linderman Elementary School gymnasium. A wall collapsed due to snow and ice issues, and the gym is currently not usable for physical education and school sports. “We’re still working with insurance engineers to determine the level of damage,” Weltz said.
In other maintenance news, the high school roof is in good shape, as will be the middle school roof once the “check list” is completed. On the elementary level, the Cherry Valley boiler needs replacement.
WELTZ HAD words of praise for the custodial/maintenance and information technology (IT) staffs, along with new teachers, during a recognition barbecue lunch on the Friday before the start of the school year.
The Polson School District has two new custodians — Payne Goade and Nick Devlin. Richard Miller is new to the IT staff.
Miller said during the barbecue that the school buildings are “looking better than they’ve ever looked.”
“We really appreciate them. The recognition during lunch today was about new teachers, but also about the IT and the custodians,” Weltz said. “The food nutrition and custodial staff are just as important as anybody else in our district. Our secretaries go right along in line with that.
“Everybody is in it for one reason, to make sure that for the kids we have safe academic and social and emotional places for them.”
DAN GILES is the Polson School District’s maintenance director.
“He is absolutely a great employee,” Weltz said. “He’s a super man; he works extremely hard. Our facilities and his crew are spot on ... It’s a testament to our maintenance department.”
It’s a challenge keeping up on maintenance of the district’s aging buildings. One dates back to the mid-1940s, one built in 1963 and another in 1972, and a “newest” building in 1992.
There are issues with some of the infrastructure of the aging buildings, such as the HVAC systems. “But the buildings themselves are rock solid,” Weltz said. “We need some attention to the insides of them.”
Weltz talked briefly about school funding, and all districts in Montana and other states are doing the best they can with diminished money coming from the state legislature.