River Valley Local Schools
197 Brocklesby Rd.
Caledonia, OH 43314
Mr. Jim Peterson, Superintendent
Phone: (740) 725-5401
Fax: (740) 725-5499
Mrs. Nancy Lemke, Secretary to the Superintendent
Phone: (740) 725-5401
The River Valley Local Schools serve approximately 2,000 students in Marion and Morrow counties. Formed in 1962, the River Valley Local School District has a proud tradition of academic achievement.
We've recently received the following letter from Brad Morrow, our new Buildings and Grounds Supervisor at River Valley. In the letter below he shares his observations as an RV alumnus, an RV parent, an RV tax payer and now a new employee in the school system. Please read below to learn more about his valuable insights and we encourage you to share with your friends.
- - - - - -
To the taxpayers of River Valley School District:
My name is Brad Morrow and I am the Buildings and Grounds Supervisor at River Valley Schools. Many of you know me as I was raised in Caledonia and currently live in Waldo with my wife, Sheri. All of my family has all attended the River Valley school system.
In May the school district is asking for a tax levy. I believe that I bring a very unique view to this issue. I am new to the school as an employee. Until July of 2014, I was just a parent and district taxpayer like you, and I too struggled with the levy issues being put before us. In July of 2014, I was hired to be the Buildings and Grounds Supervisor and my responsibilities became the high school and middle school campus, Heritage Elementary, Liberty Elementary, the bus garage, and the administration office. All physical assets fall under my supervision. I am responsible for all maintenance budgets and purchasing.
I would like to take a minute and give you some figures.
We have approximately 140 acres of mowable acreage including sports fields. We own and maintain a tractor with a 14’ flex mower and two 72” diesel zero turn mowers, and these in turn require maintenance.
There are thousands of square feet of flat rubber roof and pitched shingle roof that are 12 years old and require patching and repairs as needed.
The district has approximately $5,000,000 of HVAC equipment that has an extensive energy management system in it and must be attended to daily to maintain peak efficiency. Maintenance costs were approximately $50,000 this year alone. We've repaired/replaced two compressors in our chillers. We are at the point in the life cycle of these units that they could fail at anytime. We maintain a service contract to contain this cost as best we can.
We have hundreds of lights and bulbs. We are changing bulbs almost daily in the buildings and grounds and have many different kinds of bulbs. We are attempting to convert as many as budgets will allow to LEDs to not only reduce lamp maintenance but energy usage. We will purchase over 600 lamps this year alone.
We use auto scrubbers in the buildings to maintain the extreme amount of tile and vinyl hallways and floors. These, too, are 12+ years in age. We have done most of the repairs ourselves but parts alone can be very expensive. We will replace a transaxle in the scrubber at Liberty at a cost of $1,800 and we will replace it ourselves. The cost of a new auto scrubber can run over $7,000.
The high school has three elevators and these require service and maintenance. The service cost on these units can run as high as $400 per hour and must be serviced quarterly. We have a service contract to contain these costs.
We have thousands of square feet of parking lot that we spend approximately $25,000 a year sealing and repairing. This year the freeze was very hard on the pavement and I expect to not be able to seal as much due to the extensive repairs that will be needed. We also had an approximate cost of $10,000 for snow removal and salt.
The River Valley district is very fortunate to have the music and athletic programs that we have. We have a beautiful auditorium that is the envy of most schools in the area. However, having an area like this requires maintenance. We spent over $1,000 on lighting replacement last year to be able to use it to its fullest ability.
The sport fields are fertilized and new material is added to maintain their playability as budgets allow.
The all weather track is in need of sealing and striping at a cost of approximately $60,000. This must be done soon as possible or destructive de-lamination will begin. Then, we will be looking at having to replace it at a possible cost of $200,000. This happened at the old River Valley High School and the track teams were not able to host home meets on the track.
Please keep in mind the things you don’t see. The State has many requirements and inspections that keep your children safe. However, these also require upgrades and service. Systems that require things like batteries - on which we spent approximately $500 just this year.
I hope you believe me when I say, "I too have 'walked the fence' when it comes to tax levies," but had I known the facts, I don’t believe that I would have hesitated to vote yes. The administration here at River Valley is dedicated to giving the best education experience at the most efficient cost possible. The support staff goes beyond their “job” every day to save where they can. Every decision is made with cost and safety in mind to provide your children and you, the public, with the very best in education and facilities.
Please remember that the levy is a PERMANENT IMPROVEMENT Levy and does not pay for salaries. The monies can only be used for assets that have a permanent life span of 5 or more years.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to call my office at 740-725-5407 and I will be more than happy to talk to you.
Thank you for your time,
Brad Morrow, River Valley Buildings and Grounds Supervisor