Water has been removed from the first floor of Richmond High School’s science and industrial technology area on the main hallway. Supplied by RCS

Board OKs new courses; Test planning 100th anniversary

Richmond High School reopened Monday, Jan. 30 for instruction after a 90,000-gallon water leak during winter break led to extensive repairs.

Glen Slifer, who oversees the district’s facilities, told the school board at its Jan. 25 meeting that the restoration was going well. He noted new flooring had been laid and furniture had been placed, with a few smaller projects remaining.

“We’re excited – it’s really looking good up there,” he said.

A view of an RHS second-floor classroom on Friday. Supplied by Kristen Brunton

Two biology classrooms temporarily moved to the nearby Career Center. Lab equipment and furniture were not yet available.

Frigid temperatures prompted a water leak in the second-floor math wing that then ran down to the first floor’s science and industrial technology areas.

RCS Communications Coordinator Bridget Hazelbaker said Friday that moisture test results were good, and teachers could re-enter their rooms Thursday afternoon.

District officials extended gratitude to the local contractors and in-house team that came together for the unexpected, accelerated project.

Superintendent Curtis Wright said he was proud of students and faculty for successfully pivoting to live online classes for the first time, erasing fears about that medium.

One large project – replacing the carpet removed from the second floor – will be tackled in the summer when more time is available. Vinyl flooring is now in place.

In other news

  • New courses at RHS were approved as part of the 2023-2024 curriculum guide. They include Advance College Project (Indiana University) Pre-Calculus and Trigonometric Functions; AP Psychology; Digital Marketing (which replaced strategic marketing); Intro to Business; Officiating (a physical education elective). Descriptions of other courses were adjusted, including Principles of Business Management, Marketing Fundamentals, Education Professions, Symphonic Band and wind, percussion and jazz ensembles. A potential change to naming of valedictorians will be discussed later.
  • Board member John Weber, who monitors Indiana General Assembly legislation affecting schools, expressed concerns about some proposed laws that he believes could negatively impact public education. Weber described the legislation as “not education friendly” and urged public education advocates to monitor Indiana School Boards Association’s updates, which are available at isba-ind.org/legislative.html.
  • A committee is planning a 100th birthday celebration on May 9 for Test Intermediate School. Students are reviewing the school’s history, contributing ideas, and working on a business plan to raise money for T-shirts.
  • New board member Stacy Mopps, a former RCS principal, attended his first meeting.
  • The board’s next work session is Feb. 8 and business meeting is Feb. 22 at the administration building, 300 Hub Etchison Parkway. Both public gatherings start at 5:30 p.m.
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Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.