Chardon Local Schools News Article

CHS Flood Response and Restoration Updates

text:  Update from Principal Murray & Superintendent Hanlon; photo: exterior of Chardon High School building

The following communication was emailed district-wide on 1/6/2023 to families, students and staff, providing our school community with new updates and archived letters pertaining to the Christmas Day 2022 flooding and ongoing restoration efforts at Chardon High School.

January 6, 2023 

Response and Restoration Updates
  • from Principal Murray
  • from Superintendent Hanlon, including G-TV Video Link
FAQs & Videos
Archive of Response and Restoration Updates
Closing Message from Mr. Murray

Jan. 6 Update from Principal Murray

The Chardon High School team has worked meticulously to coordinate a short-term response to educating students on January 5-6, while building a system to bring students back to in-person learning. I appreciate our staff, students, and families being flexible while we deployed the short-term virtual days. Virtual learning will conclude on Friday, January 6, 2023, at the end of the day.

Effective Monday, January 9, 2023, Chardon High School will implement our regular schedules in-person. Although our regular schedules will be in place, the locations of several classes have been adjusted to accommodate the courses that we offer students. In order for the plan that we have refined to be seamlessly integrated, we are mandating that students check Infinite Campus this weekend. We will remind students each day on the PA announcements. Students will notice several new locations on their schedule that were not previously used as educational spaces. 
These include: 

  • Media Center Tables (Lib 2)- This is located in the Media Center.
  • Guided Study Area (Guid) - This is the room near the guidance offices in the Media Center.
  • Auxiliary Gym (Aux Gym)- This is the secondary gym. Students will walk into the main gym and keep walking through the gym and beyond the double doors into the foyer. The double door at the end of the foyer is the auxiliary gym.
  • Upper Gymnasium(Gym B)- These are the bleachers located in the balcony of the main gym.
  • Cafeteria Lounge (Cafe Lounge)- This is located near the windows of the cafeteria.
  • Topper Room (lib) - This is the middle conference room in the Media Center.
  • Guidance Conference (Guid Conf)- This is the conference room by Mrs. Giddings in the Media
  • Cafeteria (Cafe 1)- All students rostered in learning labs and guided study will report to the cafeteria near the windows
As impacted rooms become available to us, we will move entire class periods that were displaced into one of the available rooms.

We clearly understand that these are not ideal locations for learning. The constant reminder that I have for all of us pertaining to any educational model is to reflect on our Why and Purpose. We have learned through emergency-mandated educational adjustments during COVID that virtual and hybrid learning does not provide the attention to detailed education of the whole student. Our plan provides routines and as much normalcy as feasibly possible. This plan allows for 100% of our students and staff to engage in-person. It also allows for all of the additional services that we provide for students to happen in person.

Jan. 6 Update from Superintendent Hanlon

During the January 4, 2023 regular board meeting, I provided a detailed presentation, including a new development, to the board of education and public attendees. Here, I would like to summarize some of the information I covered in that presentation as well as provide additional details:

Schools of the age of Chardon High School typically have Asbestos Containing Building Materials (ACBM). Our district removed the exposed, hazardous, ACBM years ago through abatement programs. However, undisturbed ACBM such as flooring tiles, the mastic securing them to the floor, and other materials have remained in schools, as is the norm in any school district.

Our district complies with all state and federal regulations to document ACBM in schools and to have these materials abated (removed) when necessary. Our school district completed the required AHERA plan update last year and complies with all record maintenance related to ACBM. The flooding last week caused moisture to penetrate the concrete flooring in the affected areas of the building. In turn, the floor tiles are beginning to lift as the water attempts to escape the concrete. The lifting floor tiles create a new condition related to the ACBM and require us to abate these materials.

The district contracts with SafeAir, a licensed hazardous materials abatement firm to complete the work. This is a federal and state requirement for any abatement project. SafeAir is already working with the district to formalize an abatement strategy that will include:

  • Creating an airtight isolation barrier between occupied spaces and those areas included in the
    scope of the abatement project.
  • Establishing a secondary barrier in the specific workspaces where abatement is occurring.
  • Utilizing specialized equipment with high-level filtration capabilities to “scrub” particles before they become airborne.
  • Disposal of ACBM in compliance with all state and federal regulations in a properly labeled dumpster that will be located on school property.
  • Ongoing air quality monitoring during the completion of the work.
The district successfully addressed similar challenges during window replacement at CHS last year and maintained a safe abatement process, while students and staff occupied the building, using similar procedures and air quality testing protocols.

Certified professionals have measured air quality throughout the building on two separate occasions since the Christmas Day 2022 flood at CHS to authorize a safe return to the undisturbed areas.

The district plans to maintain a regular/periodic air quality testing program in the building. Certified professionals will brief staff regarding the step-by-step process that they used to keep students and staff safe while they work in these work zones. All work will be conducted by certified professionals who are experts in restoration practices.

Certified professionals are installing airtight isolation chambers outside of the disturbed areas. They are also constructing air-tight Visqueen walls affixed to semi-permanent locked partition walls to keep all unauthorized personnel from entering the disturbed areas while they are being repaired.

The certified professionals will be accessing the building by door 18 (boiler room). This door has been taken offline for district personnel. No keycard will work. This is a work zone. These workers will not be near students unless accompanied by district personnel.

I invite you to access my 1/4/2023 presentation to the Board of Education via the following: G-TV Excerpt Link. Please note this is the presentation excerpt from the board meeting, while the full recording of the meeting can be found under Chardon BOE Meetings on the G-TV website.

Thank you to our students, families and staff for working with us and supporting us as we continue to make progress. 

Please scroll down further to view the FAQs section and Mr. Murray’s closing message.


Dr. Michael P. Hanlon, Jr.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will affected classrooms be out of service?
We do not know the answer at this time. When the certified professionals determine areas safe for a return to learn, classrooms will be relocated back to typical classrooms. Parts of our building will take several months. We are prepared for areas of our building to be offline for the remainder of the academic year. We are hopeful but realistic. We have to be patient.

Has the district considered moving classes to other buildings or considered bringing in modular

Yes, and Yes. We have considered all possibilities and worked on countless plans. The Superintendent has located several modular units. The construction, engineering, preparing a location, and providing utilities take several weeks once they are on-site. No further information regarding modular units has been determined since they are not on our property yet. The district is also weighing the time needed to install modular units, in comparison to when affected classrooms
may be released for our use, in order to determine the most efficient path forward for our school.

Will students need to exit the building to access certain rooms?
Yes. In order for students to enter rooms 106, 108, 109, Band, and Choir--they will need to exit the main building in order to access these rooms.

What precautions are in place to keep students and staff safe to enter and exit these locations?
The administration, staff, and School Resource Officer will monitor all entrances throughout the school day to monitor building accessibility.

Will there be obstacles or barriers for students walking outside to these locations?
As the weather becomes inclement, custodians will clear and salt pathways for students. There are paved (sidewalk) pathways to and from each entrance.

What is the plan for the restrooms that are closed?
The 100’s and 300’s bathrooms are currently not accessible. The maintenance staff has reopened the restrooms outside the Media Center. When bathrooms become available, they will be reopened.

Will transportation run at regularly scheduled times?
Yes. Students will be picked up and dropped off at the typical times.

Will the bell schedules change during this adjustment to classroom locations?
No. The schedules of white, red, and black days have not changed.

Does anything change to student/staff parking?
Two storage pods might be located near the transportation department displacing district workers. If/When this occurs, the student lot will be used to park employees against the guardrail and the first row of the student lot. This is the only adjustment at this time.

Where do students go when they arrive at school?
Students will head to the cafeteria until the 7:20 AM bell before heading to their first class of the day.

How do I know if my class location has changed for a period?
All schedules will be updated on the student and parent portal of Infinite Campus. We recommend refreshing the application every single day. We will remind students on the PA. The principal’s secretary will post period occupancy signs on every classroom door so students can verify the periods.

Did you have to remove any classes in order to make the 100% return to school plan work?
Unfortunately, yes. We were able to minimize the reduction of courses to a semester section of Drawing (4th period) and a semester section of Ceramics (4th period) in order to relocate year-long courses. These courses have yet to start and they will be offered again next school year.

Will these new locations have enough seats for students?
Our custodial staff has retrofitted tables and chairs in these new locations based on the number of
students expected for each location.

Will extra-curricular (athletic) activities be impacted?
During our holiday break and through Wednesday, January 5, 2023, access to the main gym, auxiliary gym, and weight room was suspended while we worked on retrofitting the academic spaces. We will have limited access to in-season sports available Thursday, January 5th- Saturday, January 7th. The gym is closed on Sunday, January 8th. We will continue with the full operation of in-season sports on Monday, January 9, 2023.

How do students and coaches access the weight room?
Already established this year was the accessibility of the weight room through the exterior doors using the keycard access. This has not changed.

Will extra-curricular (clubs, drama,) activities be impacted?
Effective Monday, January 9, 2023, all activities are at full operation based on the schedules created by the moderator(s).


Archive of Response and Restoration Updates
Superintendent Messages
Mr. Murray’s Message

Closing Message from Mr. Murray

As you have read in my previous communications inside of the 
Week in Reflection, I am a man who absolutely takes ownership for being long-winded. However, there is no time or energy for me to provide you with any fluff. Comprehensive plans, leadership, and a vision to organize a monumental task are way more important. I am forever grateful to my team, and our district family. We must take a moment to be grateful that only physical harm occurred to spaces. Objects can be replaced, floors can be installed, paint can be rolled on walls, equipment and furniture can be replaced, and ceiling tiles can be hung. We will not allow any event to dictate our response. We will not allow new spaces to become a barrier to learning. As Hilltoppers, we will overcome moments like this to strive for greatness in all that we do as we embark on a new year.

With gratitude,

Douglas Murray

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