By Sterling McGinn

The Tahquamenon Area Schools (TAS) Board of Education has hired a Newberry High School alumnus and former basketball player Sarah Johnson to fill the position of the school’s varsity basketball coach.

The decision was made at the regular monthly meeting of the board, which took place on Monday, June 17 at 6 p.m.

“We welcome Sarah on, she is an alumnus, and she was very successful in her basketball career,” said TAS Superintendent Stacy Price. “We are very excited for her to join our athletic department.”

The hiring was unanimously approved that evening.

In other business, Price updated the board on the ongoing bond projects and asbestos abatement taking place throughout the building.

The first and second sections of the elementary building have had the asbestos abatement completed. Those areas include the kindergarten, first and second grade classes and elementary gymnasium.

“Section two is over by the third, fourth, fifth and six grade rooms, and section three is down by the computer lab, the music room, offices and preschool,” Price said. Section three will also include the science wing area, high school gym locker rooms and the school kitchen.

Contractors have begun hanging new ceiling tiles and new LED lighting for classrooms and hallways has started to arrive.

Section three should be done by early August; crews will then move to the second floor where the old middle school was located.

Finally, Price gave the board and guests a tour of portions of the project where the asbestos has already been removed.

She pointed out areas where the old tile, containing asbestos in the glue, had been removed along with rooms that had contained ceiling tiles with asbestos fibers.

She also showed the board the old elementary gymnasium, which will be transformed into the school band and music room.

Crews have removed the old rubber tiles and safety matting. Acoustic tiles and mats will be installed, making the room suitable for rehearsals.