Education

Newton BOE Facility Inspection Tour

Board surveys the computer bank used both by the Agricultural students and the students with multiple disabilities. Credits: Jennifer Murphy
Board delights in the new art room Credits: Jennifer Murphy
Electrical work done in band room has improved safety by removing countless extension cords Credits: Jennifer Murphy
Dave Hughen gives details on boiler maintenance requirements Credits: Jennifer Murphy
The Performing Arts room was designed for a time when far less students participated. Credits: Jennifer Murphy
World Language Honor Society Induction ceremony, encountered during the tour Credits: Jennifer Murphy
Science Lab needs upgrades Credits: Jennifer Murphy
Newton Robotics club meets in the new STEM lab Credits: Jennifer Murphy

 

NEWTON, NJ –  Half a dozen members of the Newton Board of Education crowded into the girls' room at the Merriam Street School, on Wednesday November 28, to see for themselves why replacing the faucets was on the high priority list of facility needs.

Guided by an assessment compiled by EI Associates, Architects in September 2011, Dr. Kenneth Greene, Superintendent, Donna Snyder, Business Administrator, and Dave Hughen, Head of Maintenance, led the group through all three facilities:  Merriam Avenue School, Halsted Middle School, and Newton High School. 

Sign Up for E-News

Present were board members Ed Caffrey, President, Jess Egner, Vice President, Rich Hickman, Ann Marie Cooke, Green Township Representative, Linda Gianni, Andover Township Representative, Terry Van Auken, Stella Dunn, and Tina Larsen.

“We do this a couple of times a year,” said Board President Ed Caffrey. “We start right after all the summer projects are done. I give many kudos to maintenance, they do a top job.”

The meeting began at the Merriam Avenue School Library with a roll call and Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. 

Greene then explained, “The board’s role is specific, there is policy, hiring, negotiating and, of course, the budget.  I want to make sure the board members feel educated, so that they are empowered to make these decisions. We’ve had the opportunity to do some facilities work in the past couple of years, and hopefully, we’ll have some money to do some more work.”

The major work done this past summer was to install an Astroturf field behind the High School. To see a previous article from The Alternative Press, click here.

Facilities were not the only important topic of discussion. 

“Make sure your cell phones are on, so we can be interrupted at any moment with news of our boys,” announced Gianni. 

Beginning at 7:30 p.m., the Newton High School Boys Soccer Team was up against Cliffside Park at Millburn. 

“If they win, they go to State Finals later this week,” explained Greene.

The boiler room at each facility was inspected.Hughen fielded questions, and provided detailed explanations at every step of the tour.  

“The pneumatic control system will cost about $240,000, he explained.”

When asked what the life expectancy of a boiler was, he shrugged. “We take good care of this equipment, it could last indefinitely."

"Each summer, these boilers are completely broken down, cleaned and put back together. It’s part of the regular summer maintenance. All the work is done by our maintenance staff,” said Snyder.

Also on the list were door reconfigurations (doors not meeting standards set in the Americans with Disabilities Act), window replacement, and classroom upgrades.

“The instructional models are changing,” said Greene. “We are now looking for areas within the classroom for small group instruction and flexible class space.”

The High School provided some of the best examples of this. The group delighted in the newly renovated art room. 

“The furniture is adjustable, and moveable,” said Snyder. “The art teachers are really appreciative. It is adjacent to our new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) lab, so the art students can use that lab for computer generated artwork.” 

During the tour, the group encountered the Newton Robotics Team using the STEM lab. 

“This group represents what the State of NJ calls 21st Century Careers,” said Greene. “Our lab allows the students to work on computers, and create the robots in the same space.” 

Some of the Science Labs have already been updated, with furniture than can be moved and adjusted. Some of the older labs are on the list.

When the group got to the auditorium, they encountered the World Language Honor Society Candlelight Induction Ceremony being held. It was evident to see the board’s pride in their students.

There, however, they were faced with more complex environmental issues. 

“The floor tiles, and the ceiling need replacing. However, when you take down the ceiling," said Greene. "It will create airborne asbestos, which will eventually drift down into the seat cushions. The whole project has to be done at once.”  

At the end of the tour, Dunn said, “It is good to do the tour, so we can see the issues. We see that our schools are in good condition. We see that our maintenance staff does a great job. It’s nice to see the progress on the things we approved last year.”

Greene commented, “I want the board to be fully knowledgeable as we head into budget season.”

 

Continue to follow The Alternative Press for Sussex County news, as well as news and community information on The Alternative Press of Sussex County’s Facebook Page.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

Newton

Sparta Police: Newton Man Faces Drug and DWI Charges

May 23, 2017

SPARTA, NJ – A Newton man is facing DWI and drug charges after being stopped for erratic driving.  On May 11 Sparta police received a call from an off-duty officer from another town, reporting he was following a 1999 Lexus SUV that could not stay in the lane.  Further, the officer reported the driver had fallen asleep behind the wheel at a traffic light in Jefferson and hit the ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_e5cd0b86406025c8c45e_60_anniver

Fri, May 26, 7:30 PM

Mohawk House, Sparta

Sparta Youth Football Invites the Community to ...

Giving Back

Sun, May 28, 10:00 AM

Stokes State Forest, Sandyston

Edible Plants Hike Offered May 2i8

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_57f5054edac48d5ef666_lawn_sign_with_flag_large

Sun, May 28, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

A New Era: Women, Their Hats and Social Change

Education

Sparta Police: Sussex Man Passed Out Behind Wheel Faces Drug Charges

May 19, 2017

SPARTA, NJ - A Sussex man faces drug charges after passing out behind the wheel on Route 15.  Sparta Police Cpl. Scott Elig and Police Officer Arlene Lippencott responded to a report made by someone who called 911 from their cell phone, according to police.

The officers found David Toli, 23, unresponsive in the driver's seat of a 2003 Mercury.  His breathing was slow and he had a ...

Biology Majors, the Time is Now

May 15, 2017

Editor: 

Travelling along any New Jersey highway, you're bound to pass at least a few pharmaceutical or biotechnology company buildings. Names like Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Becton Dickinson, Boehringer Ingelheim are strewn all across our state. As a result, biology majors here are a coveted cohort, making up nearly 100,000 of the New ...

Potentially Record Breaking Tick Season Made Worse by Powassan

The Centers for Disease Control is expecting this summer to be the worse tick season on record made even more troubling by Powassan, a potentially fatal viral disease transmitted by ticks. 

Summary article: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_165462.html

Use this news

While there are many benefits to a mild winter including lower heating bills and fewer snow days, one down side ...

10 Terrific Mothers' Day Events In Morris And Sussex County

Whether you’re making plans for your mom, or you’re a mom yourself, make Mother’s Day extra-special this year with one of these Morris or Sussex County Mother’s Day events!  From hayrides to winery brunches and zoo trips to psychic fairs, Team Nest Builder has you covered.  Need to drop a hint? Just print this out and leave it somewhere mildly conspicuous...like ...

Sussex County Freeholders Meeting Video May 10, 2017

Video recording of the Sussex County Freeholders May 10 meeting 

Freeholder Meetings - YouTube

 

Panel advances Space bill promoting smart choices in school lunchrooms

May 23, 2017

 

Legislation by Assemblyman Parker Space to combat the growing obesity problem was approved today by the Assembly Education Committee. The Smarter Lunchroom Act (A3444) promotes healthy food choices in school cafeterias and passed by a 9-0 vote.

 

“If kids learn to eat healthy when they’re young, it will help them live more fulfilling and rewarding lives, and avoid ...

Seton Hall Prep Dedicates Tevlin Memorial Field and Zimmermann Scoreboard

May 22, 2017

WEST ORANGE, NJ – The family, friends, teachers and teammates of Brendan Tevlin (Class of 2013) and Billy Zimmerman (Class of 2011) gathered at the Seton Hall Preparatory School’s (SHP) Kelly Athletic Complex on Saturday as the high school officially dedicated the Brendan Patrick Tevlin ’13 Memorial Field and Billy Zimmermann ’11 Scoreboard.

The ceremony marked a ...