Norwalk students return to classes

Cary Ashby • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:53 PM

It's back to the books today for students in Norwalk.

"There is so much excitement," said Walt Klimaski, president of Norwalk Catholic School. You would think these kids haven't seen each other all summer. It's like opening day at The Jake (Jacobs Field)."

Klimaski said 803 students are enrolled this year, "and there are still a couple of kids who could be registered." The parochial school had 809 students during 2006-07, the first year after St. Paul and St. Mary combined their schools to form NCS.

"I think we're ready to go," Klimaski said. "I think we're looking forward to an easier start. Last year it was hectic with all of the renovations. I was just over talking to (dean of students) John Livengood and everybody is so much more at ease."

One thing the students will have to battle today is the projected 90-degree heat. The school is not air-conditioned. "It could have been worse," Klimaski said. "It could have been like last week when it was 100 with 100-percent humidity."

When Norwalk City Schools Superintendent Wayne Babcanec did a walk-through tour of the middle and high schools this morning, the buses were running on time. "It was a smooth beginning," he said.

Starting in mid-June, Huron County Common Pleas Court used the social studies wing of the high school to accommodate the installation and upgrade of a new air conditioning and heating system in the courthouse. The Huron County Clerk of Court's office was in the library. Both offices moved out about Aug. 16.

Babcanec said the transition was "tight" in order to be ready for school, but the district knew that would be the case. Thanks to the assistance of district custodians, both areas were ready in time.

"The high school custodial staff stepped up to the plate," Babcanec added.

Since school started Thursday for Monroeville Local Schools, the district has seen less traffic congestion on West Street because of a parking lot built in a property next to the school. The district purchased the double lot earlier this year.

"We had the house moved in June," Superintendent Carol Girton said, calling the first day of school "a really great start."

She has seen a significant difference since the parking lot was added. While picking up and dispatching students, the buses now pull into the new parking area.

"It's wonderful. We (earlier) had buses on the road while parents were dropping off ... kids at the crosswalk. This is much safer and faster. We were most happy to do that," Girton said.

Last year, Monroeville had 740 students in grades one through 12. This year there are 382 elementary students and 381 in the middle and high schools. Kindergarten enrollment remained at 50 students both years. "So we're up about 23 kids," Girton said.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Managing Editor Joe Centers contributed to this story.

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