When Superintendent Matthew Hicks said his trip to Northeastern Middle/High School’s roof “was like an Indiana Jones movie,” he didn’t mean a fast-paced adventure in search of treasure. Rather, he spoke of the building’s brick walls.

“When I touched them, they just turned to dust,” Hicks said. “The brick face has eroded and water is coming into the walls. There are places where the masonry has held up just fine and other places where it looks like someone took a sledgehammer to it.”

It’s especially noticeable on the gym’s high walls.

The Northeastern Wayne Schools board approved spending $32,000 to have an architectural firm design and help oversee a contract to cover the deteriorating bricks. The Cincinnati-based firm Luminaut is tasked with developing a cap that will stop seepage while maintaining the building’s outer appearance. The board expects to open bids for the work on March 8 and approve a contract March 20. Construction would start after commencement on May 31.

Brick problems date to shortly after the building opened in 1967, Hicks said. Two wall sections near the tennis court were replaced in the 1970s. The brick company has since gone out of business.

Matthew Hicks

In other business on Jan. 24, the board met with Michelle Wise, the artist who created a Northeastern Knight mural on the gym wall as an NHS student. She will be coming to renovate her painting this spring and summer. She will travel from her home in Asheville, North Carolina, for the project.

She is not charging for the work. Donations raised over the past several months will cover her travel and materials costs.

The board also approved Clayton Smith as the new middle school principal. Currently the high school assistant principal, he replaces Kelly Plank, who became the district’s director of curriculum and instruction in December.

The board also recognized Northeastern students of the month for January.

The board approved the following personnel actions:

  • Extracurricular activities: Brian Richmond, archery coach; Doug Berhalter and Judy Carter, archery assistants; Ryan Chalfant, varsity boys golf coach; Adam Kress, Ryan Seal, Luke Reimsnyder and Garrett Dill, volunteer assistant baseball coaches; Savanna Abner, assistant softball coach; Emmie Pugh, volunteer softball coach; Shannon Hardy, NELC team lead; Amy Wiley, third grade team lead; Elly Cofield, first grade team lead; Krista Oler, kindergarten team lead.
  • Personnel changes: Brianna Jay, additional color guard duties; Melanie Berger, from full time sub to Title 1 interventionist; Clayton Smith, from high school assistant principal to middle school principal.
  • New hires: Andi Cameron, part-time Northeastern Elementary School teacher aide.
  • Retirement: Ken Powell, effective June 30.
  • Departures: Dakotah Ashleigh Maupin, Emma Hall, Zack Jakowski.

The board’s next regular meeting will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, in the student support building, 7299 N. U.S. 27, Fountain City. The public may attend.

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A version of this article appeared in the February 7 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Bob Hansen is a reporter for the Western Wayne News.