Buckeye Room to get $486K overhaul

Photos by Kelsey Leyva | Wellington Enterprise Lorain County JVS board of education president Rex Engle said quarter-century-old culinary program equipment needs to be replaced.

Ayers Ratliff (Wellington) and Anne Schaum (Oberlin) wait for their turn to vote on the motion involving the Buckeye Room renovations.

Renovations to the Buckeye Room Restaurant at the Lorain County JVS are set to begin following a vote last Thursday by the vocational school’s board.

It awarded Don Mould’s Plantation a $120,800 contract for work that will allow the restaurant to double as a classroom for the culinary program when the dining area isn’t open to the public.

Board president Rex Engle said some of the equipment in the student-run restaurant has been there for about 25 years.

He believes equipping students with the latest service products will give them a more realistic experience when they’re serving customers.

Approval of the upgrade also included the purchase of a new generator and electrical improvements throughout the facility. Firelands Electric had the winning bid of $355,790.

All renovations and improvements are expected to be completed before the the new school year begins.

Another measure was passed to ensure the board doesn’t exceed $50,000 when purchasing audio-visual equipment and furniture for the restaurant.

Nearly every board member at the meeting voted in favor of both items except Ayers Ratliff, the Wellington Schools liaison to the JVS board.

“I’d like to know how we can remodel the Buckeye Room and not address the carpentry lab with its air collection system only working at 25 percent,” Ratliff said.

His comment received no response.

In 2014, carpentry teacher Ron Gresco was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He blamed air quality in the JVS carpentry lab for that diagnosis.

Tests completed by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and Safex Inc. revealed that individuals tested for wood dust did not exceed the exposure limit set by the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.