“A home away from home” is how head custodian Nathan McKinney describes the old McCormick Middle School building.
For more than 13 years, McKinney has worked 40 hours a week and approximately 340 days a year making sure everything from the floors to the heating system is maintained.
McKinney will have to say goodbye this January to the building he’s spent so much time in when he and the students move into the new middle school and the old building’s lights go out.
While this is the last summer McKinney will spend in the building, it won’t be a typical summer for the seasoned maintenance worker.
Instead of waxing the floors and making improvements for the coming school year, McKinney’s main focus is maintaining and moving furniture to other buildings in the district.
“The lockers went to the high school, some furniture went over to Westwood and the high school, and we’re just getting ready to shut this place down,” he said.
He and the maintenance staff even moved the glass backboards from the basketball hoops in the old McCormick to the new building to be added to its gym.
McKinney said he’s gotten used to the idea of the building being closed for good, but still has mixed emotions about the situation.
He was shocked at first but is now excited to make the move to the new building.
“There’s going to be a little learning curve,” McKinney said. “The heating and cooling systems — it’s a lot more technology.”
The heating system at the old McCormick is a manual system with gauges. But McKinney is ready to make the change.
“I’m looking forward to it being a little easier,” he said.
McKinney said his favorite part of working at McCormick is the people he interacts with daily.
The one thing he isn’t sad about is that the new school is on the north side of the train tracks. Now he won’t have to worry about being late because a train is in his way.
McKinney said he loves his job and will miss putting the mirror finish on the floors this summer.
“You work in a place so long you just kind of get attached,” he said. “I hope I’ve done the best I could trying to keep the place up.”
Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.
Kelsey Leyva | Wellington Enterprise The sandstone archways around the front doors of the old McCormick are among the items being saved. One will go to the new location and the other will become part of a village-owned green space once the building is demolished.