Former student helps fix school roof


OREGON – The Oregon Community Unit School District’s (OCUSD) Elementary School is scheduled for a new roof in 2022, but when the Etnyre Wing’s ceiling started leaking, one OCUSD alumni decided the district shouldn’t have to wait and donated his time and expertise to fix the roof.

Mike Smidt, alumni and Rockford Local 792 Union Carpenter, started work on the roof and finished the project in four days. The project included two days of removing debris from the roof and two days of sealcoating.

“When I received the green light from the union to donate my time to this project, I immediately got to work,” Smidt said. “Knowing that I supplied something worthwhile to the school means more to me than any amount of money.”

Smidt admits it was much more work than he thought it would be, but is grateful he was granted the go-ahead from Local 792  to fix the roof before winter begins.

“We’re very grateful for Mike’s donation of time and services,” said OCUSD Facilities Director Bill Nesemeier. “Due to a tightened budget, we were only able to seal coat three-quarters of the roof last year and were starting to see signs of leaks in the remaining quarter. Mike’s work has already proven successful, as we didn’t see one sign of a leak during last week’s rain.”

About OCUSD 220:

The Oregon Community Unit School District, board and staff are committed to providing the highest learning standards in a safe and welcoming educational environment. OCUSD 220 is located in Ogle County with schools in Oregon and Mt. Morris and has more than 1,500 students enrolled. It is committed to its mission statement to: “Educate students to be life-long learners who are productive, responsible citizens.”