by Lisa Tome
Rising Sun Middle School is getting a major safety upgrade while the students are on summer break.
RSMS principal Rick Edwards explained that in the wake of the Sandy Hook, Connecticut, school shootings, a safety survey was performed at school. At Rising Sun Middle, it was determined that the former system for allowing visitors to enter the building wasn't safe.
"They had to be buzzed in and that was a long way from the office. A couple times, I went to look for people (who entered the building and didn't go directly to the school office)," said Edwards.
Now the former administrative offices will be a Science classroom. Students who arrive by bus will continue to use the former entrance. Those who come after bus arrival time, will now enter the building directly into the new office area. A new sidewalk will be put in from the former entrance to the new entrance.
"This will change the way people enter and exit the building. The office will be done when schools starts. The new classroom will be finished two weeks into the school year probably," explained Edwards.
That isn't the only school getting upgrades.
At Rising Sun Elementary School, head custodian Tom Richardson will hopefully soon be able to stop replacing costly ceiling tiles.
Richardson said the tiles cost $10 each. But the pending roof replacement should make the tile replacement unnecessary. Currently, when it rains, the roof leaks in some areas of the school.
Other upgrades at RSES include some new carpet which is replacing aging carpet and new, bright floor tile. "Carpet is going away in the classrooms. That improves air quality," said Richardson. Portables which are attached to the school are also getting new siding.
RSES principal Cindy Fitzpatrick said the summer building spruce up started before the last school year ended. Fifth graders worked with staffers from North Bay to landscape the front of the school. The area was weeded and cleaned out.