A dispute involving renovations to Avola’s log schoolhouse appears to be over. Both sides seem to be claiming victory, or at least saying they are not dissatisfied with the result.
A meeting held Oct. 22 by the Thompson Headwaters services committee in the schoolhouse unanimously accepted recommendations from services coordinator Sherri Madden regarding proposed renovations to the building’s interior.
The recommendations were developed from a survey conducted as part of an open house held Oct. 8 to get public input.
The recommendations would keep the school’s chalkboards. There would be no whiteboards installed, but there would be a pull-down white screen to project slides or videos on.
Changes would include new bookshelves, storage and cabinetry.
The renovations would also allow for the replacement of some features such as flooring and bathroom fixtures that are required for ease of maintenance or cleaning.
The accord showed over the proposed renovations to the log schoolhouse’s interior was in contrast to the discord evident during renovations to the building’s exterior this summer. The controversy even resulted in a protest demonstration by a number of Avola residents.
Major item of contention was the proposed use of walnut shell blasting to clean the logs. As it turned out, only a small amount was used. Opponents saw this as being the result of their protests. Supporters felt the contractor would not have used the walnut shell in any event after a trial showed it was not appropriate.
One non-controversial item in the exterior renovations was construction of a wheelchair ramp on the west wall of the building. This was recently completed.