TALLMADGE – The demolition of Munroe Elementary, 230 N. Munroe Road, is on schedule.
Both Munroe and Dunbar Primary, 731 Dunbar Road, were closed in March as students were planning to move to the new Elementary School on East Avenue before COVID-19 forced students to learn online.
Asbestos abatement is going on at Munroe Elementary, and demolition will begin after July 4, said Chief Operating Officer Steve Wood. Demolition will continue through the fall.
Items at Munroe were auctioned off and Wood said they made about $25,000 from the online auction. They made about the same when they auctioned items from the old Tallmadge Middle School but that sale was on site.
"It was better than expected," Woods said. "Our expectations weren’t high because this auction was totally online."
The $25,000 will offset some of the costs of other construction projects, Wood said.
Munroe had served the Tallmadge community since 1962, and 2020 graduate Olivia Swain made a video of the school for a virtual farewell.
"We’re thankful to Olivia for putting the video together," Wood said.
Behind Munroe, the softball field and practice football field work are nearly complete.
"It’s going well," Wood said. "All of the site work is complete. The fields are crafted and evident for anyone walking by. They’re spreading topsoil and the initial grass seeding. The fencing and dugout areas are commencing at the softball field."
The Tallmadge School Board asked that the fields be ready by March 21, 2021 for the athletes to use, Wood said.
Since 2018 the softball teams have had to use fields in other school districts because the fields were at the old middle school and construction for the new schools destroyed the fields, Wood said.
"We’re thankful for the patience of softball players who played elsewhere since 2018," Wood said.
Baseball players still have the field they’ve used in the past and will use it until the new baseball field is complete on the site of Munroe School.
The baseball field was scheduled to be constructed in 2021, but the district needs to raise the funds before starting the project, Wood said.
"Priorities are elsewhere for the district," Wood said. "We have to do some fundraising for that project."
Dunbar is being used for storage, but the district is planning an auction of furniture and items, Wood said. The building is not for sale yet, but they will try to sell it.
For many districts, the 2020-21 school year is still being planned.
"We’re still waiting on final guidance from the governor," Wood said.
Tallmadge is working on a remote online learning platform that will serve both students who stay at home even if buildings open and will serve all students if the schools remain closed, Wood said.
"The Tallmadge Online Platform is an important priority for us," Wood said. "Teachers, parents and kids were awesome when we went online. We learned a lot and have an opportunity to build on it and make it a better experience for our kids."
COVID-19 was an accelerant for doing more things online, he added.
The summer focus for the district has been building readiness, Wood said. The oldest building in the district is 12 years old.
"We’re so thankful to the community," Wood said. "It put us in a nice position for the health crisis and enables us to have increased fresh air and ventilation in our new buildings which our old buildings wouldn’t have provided. And it’s easier to keep these buildings clean."
During the summer the district is preparing buildings for social distancing and additional cleaning procedures, he said.
Gannett reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org