Condition of Mansfield school buildings will be assessed
MANSFIELD – A Columbus energy services engineering company and a familiar face in the Mansfield community will join forces to develop a comprehensive assessment of infrastructure systems and equipment in 10 Mansfield City Schools buildings.
Their final report will play a major role in eventual board of education decisions about renovation of existing facilities versus possible new construction.
The board voted Tuesday to award a $22,450 contract to Dynamix Energy Services Ltd. and employ former Mansfield Senior High Principal Stan Jefferson as “project ombudsman.”
In that capacity, Jefferson will work closely with Dynamix engineers to review all draft findings and provide feedback to the report’s overall recommendations. Jefferson, also a former Tyger head football and track coach, will be paid $25 an hour for his work.
The detailed study will evaluate a dozen areas in each building, including heating and electrical systems, plumbing and fixtures, lighting, ventilation/air conditioning, sewage system and water supply.
“We are thrilled to have Stan with us,” said Scott McKenzie, a Dynamix energy consultant. “I don’t think we could do the district justice without his background and knowledge. We will be looking at buildings from an infrastructure standpoint — the things you don’t always see.”
Jefferson, who worked with the Ohio State University football program from 2004 until just recently, said he welcomes the opportunity to participate in the assessment.
“As a member of the community, I have been asked to be part of this,” he said. “The district is looking at how we can be more efficient. How can we reduce costs and offer the latest technology? And safety is a new component confronting all school districts.”
McKenzie said he and Jefferson will be joined by two Dynamix senior engineers for inspections at all buildings after securing drawings from Bob Booth, the district’s director of operations.
“It will take at least two days, maybe longer, for us to complete walk-throughs of all the buildings,” McKenzie said. “There will be lots and lots of information to pore over. Stan will assist us in that.”
Jefferson and McKenzie, who also is a member of the Upper Arlington Board of Education, have a prior professional relationship.
“I did my superintendent internship under Scott when he was a superintendent,” Jefferson said. “I know him and I know his company well.”
Jefferson served as Mansfield Senior High assistant principal from 1997 to 2003 before assuming the principal role during the 2003-2004 school year. He recalled the campaign that led to the construction of the current Senior High building.
“When we were talking about building the new Senior High, some people asked why not renovate the old building. But to get the old building up to standards would have cost more than building the new, state-of-the-art facility,” he said.
Jefferson said he and then-superintendent Ron Morvai led 40 community meetings leading up to the decision to build the new high school.
“I also conducted Saturday morning tours of the old building,” Jefferson said. “On rainy mornings I showed visitors how buckets were catching water from the leaking roof.”
McKenzie said Dynamix hopes to have the facilities assessment report to the board of education by late August.
Jefferson said the goal is “transparent and complete information.”
“Our community — as we do as individuals in our homes — can’t make a choice until it knows the facts and costs,” he said. “When the facts are known, we can make an economic choice about the best way to save taxpayers’ money while providing the best education for our children.”
Buildings involved in the assessment and evaluation study, and the year each was built, according to district records, include: Malabar Intermediate, 1962; Sherman Elementary, 1961; Spanish Immersion (formerly Brinkerhoff), 1950, addition in 1956; Hedges, 1872, additions in 1899, 1911, 1934, 1940, 1941, 1950, 1956; Prospect Elementary, 1950, addition in 1961; Springmill STEM Elementary, 1961; West Fifth building, 1950; Woodland Elementary, 1936, addition in 1950; Mansfield Senior High, 2004; and Raemelton administration building, 1961.