Monroe schools buzzing with summer maintenance projects

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MONROE, CT — Work crews are undertaking a slew of summer projects to prepare Monroe public school campuses for openings this fall. Superintendent of Schools Joseph Kobza recently shared news of the biggest projects.

Kobza said those who passed by Monroe Elementary School may have noticed that paving was underway in the front parking lot.

“We had this huge pothole that in winter became like a skating rink, because it filled with water and then it turned into ice,” he said.

When it rained last Monday, Kobza said he was nervous to see where the water would go.

“They did get it out right out into the grass area, and in order not to make any more puddles, they made a pretty good berm there,” Kobza said, “so the street water does not come out into the driveway.”

At last week’s school board meeting, the superintendent provided a breakdown of the larger projects, which are overseen by district maintenance manager Dan Krofssik.

“There’s a whole bunch of projects going on,” Kobza said. “Fawn Hollow’s walk-in freezer and refrigerator have been removed and we are preparing to install a new one.”

Fawn Hollow Elementary School is also replacing counters, sinks and drains in 11 different classrooms.

Kobza said Monroe Elementary School is steam-heated and a pipe needs to be replaced between the preschool wing and the main building. A door in front of the preschool wing is being repaired, he added.

A new gymnasium floor will be installed at Stepney Elementary School, but the old floor contained mercury and a reduction needs to be done first, according to Kobza.

“There’s a new steamer and a new dishwasher in the cafeteria,” he said.

The way of driving in the parking lot changed during the COVID-19 pandemic and Kobza said, “we finally paved the access road.”

According to Kobza, Jockey Hollow Middle School’s underground oil tanks are being removed in favor of an aboveground tank. The building is now gas heated, so the oil will only be used to power the generator.

He said the same was done at Masuk High School.

The floor of Jockey Hollow’s gynasium has been stripped down to bare wood, so it can be glued back together and resealed.

“It’s done every 10 years,” Kobza said. “The other years, they just do a scratch and a coat. This brings him back to bare wood, which he needed.

In Masuk, the auditorium stage floor is being replaced and paving is underway behind the school.

Kobza said this is in addition to the major process of removing all furniture and unhooking electronics from each classroom, so the floors can be stripped and waxed.

“It’s a huge, huge, huge process and part of the regular maintenance that happens in the summer, and all these other big jobs that go on,” Kobza said.

Board of Education Chairman David Ferris said he had walked through some of the schools with the superintendent and seen the the enormous amount of work that Krofssik and his team have done.

“Good job with everything,” Ferris said. “Schools are going to look good in a few months.”

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