The Brookfield Middle School remediation project looks like it is back to being a one-year project with
work to be done in the spring.
The center of the middle school wing is sinking due to unstable shale in the soil beneath it, causing
cracking walls and uneven floors and door jambs.
The schedule for the fix has changed over time. It was supposed to be done this summer, and then
officials said in May it would be done over two years – this summer and next summer.
However, state officials believe it would be better to do all of the work at once, next summer, said
Brookfield Supt. Toby Gibson.
“We talked about phase one and phase two, and we’re finding out right now that phase one might be
combined with phase two, honestly, because of COVID,” Gibson told the school board Aug. 18.
“Contractors and supplies are so backed up where you can’t find them that they, the consultant and OFCC,
doesn’t think it’s possible to get anything done in a fiscally responsible manner in the next month, and it’s
probably gonna be cheaper if we add it to the bigger project, starting in the spring.”
OFCC is the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, the district’s partner in the building of the school, and the consultant is Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc.
OFCC spokesman J.C. Benton said the plan now is that design of the remediation work will be completed in November, and the project will be advertised for bids before the end of the year.
“Work will start sometime towards the end of the next school year and, hopefully, be finished before the
start of the next school year, but may continue into the fall of 2022,” Benton said.
While the big project is being designed, OFCC is looking at having a company televise the water and
sewer lines to make sure no water is leaking, Gibson said. If officials are satisfied that no water is leaking,
the boys bathroom could be reopened, he said.
A structural engineer will visit the site every month or six weeks to make sure there are no safety issues,
State officials are worried that, if they start this year, as had been planned, to examine if water is getting
under the building, and to seal off the foundation, they may have to undo that work if they excavate the
floor of the building next year and find something that has to be fixed that they didn’t anticipate, Gibson
“You run the risk of losing that money now,” he said. “It’s gonna be cheaper if you put it all together.”
District Treasurer Julie Sloan said OFCC and the district have a limited amount of money to put into the
“We’re constrained by that,” she said.
The estimated project cost in April was $2.3 million. OFCC is responsible for 64 percent, with the district
picking up the rest.
Gibson and Sloan assured board members that the change does not reflect any unwillingness on the part
of OFCC to undertake the project in a proper way, and that district and OFCC officials talk every week.
“It’s moving forward, it’s just very time-consuming,” Sloan said.
The district has sued the building’s original architect and a consultant who examined the soil, and a Sept.
26, 2022, trial is scheduled in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court