Brookfield Middle School will go remote for the last three weeks of school in May and June so the interior repair work can begin in the hallway and classrooms damaged by shifting shale.

Students will work from home with assignments posted on Google Classroom, just like when school was remote for the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They’re not doing any major demolition,” said Supt. Toby Gibson. “They’re taking cabinets and stuff out of rooms and prepping them.”

The demolition will start once school is out, he said.

Schirmer Construction, the firm hired by the school district and the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, the partners in the building of the school, has been working outside for the first part of the school year, installing catch basins and drainage pipe, sealing any shale that was exposed, and pouring a concrete, sidewalk-like structure to help move water away from the building.

“Phase one, for the most part, is complete,” Gibson told the school board Dec. 13.

Schirmer will grade the area, spread topsoil and plant grass in the spring, he said.

“They’re working on the middle school restroom right now,” Gibson said. “They’ll work on that through Christmas break, and some evenings. Anything they can get done during the year like that, that’s less time they spend in the summer, which means we get back in classrooms sooner.”

The plan is to gut the bathroom, dig down about three feet, seal the shale and backfill, he said. 

“They want to get a head start in the bathroom since it’s closed off, so they can get a sneak peek of what they’re gonna face in the hallways and a couple classrooms,” Gibson said.

The bathroom has been closed since October, prompted by a problem with the plumbing, he said.