The unfinished walls had 'a dungeon look,' a school board member said.
YOUNGSTOWN -- A pair of bare concrete interior retaining walls at the new East High School will be getting a nice smooth finish.
The board of education voted this week to spend $92,066 for a change order to have a plaster coat put on the walls, which are in two classroom levels at the $33 million school.
The original design called for the walls to remain bare, but Harry Evans, district maintenance supervisor, told the board earlier this month that the walls are full of air bubble pockets and other unsightly imperfections.
He recommended the district pick up the tab for the plaster coating to give them a smooth, finished look.
The board expressed interest in the plan, but, realizing that the Ohio School Facilities Commission wouldn't be picking up 80 percent of the change order cost, board members wanted some assurance from the district treasurer that there were sufficient funds in the construction account to finance the job.
Treasurer Carolyn Funk told the board this week that the district has about $1.2 million unencumbered in interest earned on invested construction funds and can tap that account to pay for the wall project.
The money in that account can be used only for the district's 14-school rebuilding program and can't be diverted to pay any operating expenses or salaries, Funk said.
Board member Dominic Modarelli, who said the original bare finish had "a dungeon look," viewed a test area of the wall covered with the plaster and said the results are very satisfactory.
The board voted to award the change order contract to Welty Contracting Co., the general trades contractor on the school project.
The actual work will be done by a subcontractor, Kreps Drywall & amp; Plastering Co. Inc. of Boardman, said Tony DeNiro, assistant superintendent for school business affairs.