McCormick: Age is Not the Issue

The levy committee has continuously beaten their drum about McCormick's age with comments like "Nebraska wasn't a state when McCormick was built."

This statement is only partially true and doesn't tell the whole story.

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Asbestos in Our Schools

All school districts with older buildings are required to maintain records of the hazardous materials in their facilities. Asbestos is the most common of these materials. In August, I made a public records request to the superintendent to see the reports for Wellington's buildings. I never actually received this report from the school district. Instead, while retrieving files from a public server for a records request that I had made to OSFC, I found a copy of the report. This was just last week. I'm not going to get into why the district didn't furnish the report to me as requested, let's just examine what is in the report.  Feel free to download a copy of the report if you wish, but fair warning: the report is nearly 50MB and may take a while on some connections to download.

The report covers all three school buildings. It tells what type of material samples were taken, where they were taken from, and if any hazardous material was found it lists the type and concentration. To be clear, there is asbestos in all three of our school buildings. However, in my opinion, the amount of asbestos within McCormick has been overstated and the amounts in Westwood and the high school have been forgotten as much as possible. At the high school, for instance, the original floor tile that was used during construction contains asbestos. While some of those tiles may have been replaced, most have not. That means asbestos is in nearly every classroom and hallway at WHS. Many of the samples taken from Westwood show higher concentrations of asbestos than those in McCormick. Read more for details.

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Response to Engineer

A letter to the editor entitled "Engineer has unique insights" appeared in The Wellington Enterprise on October 25. It discussed some problems that the author sees with my alternative plan. This letter was well thought and well written, however, it left out some pertinent information.

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Asbestos: It's Not Just for McCormick

One of the biggest problems noted with McCormick is the asbestos that it contains.  It is true that there is asbestos in McCormick Middle School.  I am currently awaiting information from the district as to the locations of all known asbestos within the building.

However, it is not just McCormick that contains asbestos.  It is also found in both Westwood Elementary and Wellington High School.

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McCormick: Mold No More

A very valid concern was the growth of mold in the basement levels of McCormick.

The mold that had previously been on the walls and equipment in the Roar Room (under the stage) has been cleaned up by a professional contractor.

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McCormick: Exposed Wiring

There is exposed wiring within McCormick that has been labeled unsafe.

The wiring that is pictured in their photos is carrying low-voltage computer network and telephone signals.  The schools are inspected regularly by their insurance carrier to ensure a safe environment for students, staff, and visitors.  They would not allow exposed electrical wiring that would pose a danger to the inhabitants.

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McCormick: HOT!

McCormick Middle School has inadequate heating and cooling.

I'm not sure anyone can dispute this.  But this is not an insurmountable problem.  With the alternate plan suggested on this website, a modern and efficient heating and cooling system can be installed.  It is also very possible that the installation of this system could happen at no cost to local taxpayers!

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McCormick: Next Stop No A/C!

Regardless of whether McCormick is renovated or a new middle school is built, these students will be learning in a fully climate controlled facility. 

A future problem that will need to be addressed is the lack of air conditioning at the high school level.  Once this project is complete, you will have students that have become accustomed to learning in comfort over their five years in the middle school (be it McCormick or a new school).  If the high school isn't air conditioned, it will be a real shock to some of the students going to the high school with its poor air circulation - especially those windowless inside rooms.  Perhaps money to air condition the high school should be included in this project as well.


Disclaimer:This site is not affiliated with the Village of Wellington, Wellington Exempted Village School District, or Citizens for Wellington Schools.  This site is privately owned and maintained and all expenses are paid for out of my own pocket.  This portion of the website was created to bring all pertinent information to one place, because when I did my own research on the subject I found that the information being published is sometimes incomplete or incorrect.  I have been careful to verify as much of my information as possible.  The sources of my data can be found within the links on the Resources page.