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Officials say Austintown school issues show need for new building

Published: Thu, January 30, 2014 @ 8:33 p.m.

Water soaks parts of Fitch High School


Officials: Issues show need for new building


Issues with heating and cooling vents at Fitch High School led to five areas of flooding at the building — just a day after the board of education passed a resolution to have a bond issue on the May ballot for a new school.

“We have had issues in the past and we will have issues in the future, and this is one of the reasons why the board asked the community to pass a bond,” Superintendent Vince Colaluca said.

The first waterfall to burst from the ceiling happened about 9 a.m. in a hallway. Two other incidents occurred in the hallways and two more inside classrooms. No one was hurt.

“It happened in isolated areas,” high school Principal Chris Berni said. “We were able to shut down that part of the hallway and reroute the kids.”

The problem was with uni-vents, which are used for heating and cooling of the building, Berni explained.

“Because it has been so cold, everything has been frozen and today the temperature rose enough to create a thaw, so there was frozen water in the lines and that caused the lines to burst and the water just literally pours out of the uni-vents,” he said.

Some of the leaks occurred on the first floor and the top floor.

One that occurred on the second floor ceiling of a classroom trickled down into the cafeteria, but students had already finished their lunches.

“Our custodial team and maintenance are working together to clean it up,” Berni said. “ We are going to be here through the night on those five uni-vents.”

Western Reserve Mechanical is also helping with the cleanup and restoration.

Read more in Friday’s Vindicator.


1PCisnotcorrect(33 comments)posted 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Bend over Austintown, they did it to us in Niles, just wait, after the building is built they will put another levy on the ballot for maintenance on the building, if you can't afford to clean and maintain, you can't afford to build!!!! And wasn't it timely that there was a problem at Fitch right after they announce they want a new school, ROFLMAO.............enjoy

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2AtownParent(562 comments)posted 7 months, 3 weeks ago

If they just maintained their buildings there would not be these issues. The BOE and Super can't be bothered to spend money on maintenance when it is so easy to use the open enrollment kids coming from Youngstown to convince the OSFC that we are an impoverished district and need 30 million to replace a school building.

Fun thing to note, the cost to replace the current Fitch with a new gym and to rehab the current gym (because they are not tearing it down) will be about 75 million. The cost to rehab it will be 45 million and the state is paying 30 million either way. Hmmmm, makes you wonder why they are pushing so bad for a new building when rehabbing it seems the way to go.

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3MPur1021240(15 comments)posted 7 months, 3 weeks ago


I was told this a few years back by a retired Austintown Fitch teach, no preventative maintenance on the air handlers at the high school. Also, superintendent stated on the local news that warm water is run through the pipes in the winter, then how in the world does warm water freeze? You turned the heat off! This is out right fraud on the part of the schools system perpetrated against the citizens of Austintown. Does anyone remember that Austitown Schools needed a levy after building the new middle school because they supposedly could not afford to run the NEW school.

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