QUESTION: After heavy rains several weeks ago, I noticed that the circle driveway at Sunflower Elementary School holds water. What, if anything, is the district going to do about this?

ANSWER: The district has already addressed the issues of water pooling and ponding in the driveway, Ottawa superintendent Jeanne Stroh told me via email this week.

“The sidewalks have been fixed with appropriate slopes and drains, and drains have been added to the circle driveway to ensure water drains into the system and doesn’t pond in the driveway,” she said.

• • •

QUESTION: Speaking of the new school projects, why doesn’t the brick on the new addition to Ottawa High School match the existing brick?

ANSWER: Two reasons, according to Stroh — the district wanted the new additions to “pop” with the darker, new brick, plus it’s impossible to match new brick to existing materials that have been exposed to the elements for 25 and 50 years.

“At the end of the project, the new additions will nearly cover the many different shades of red/brown brick, but there will be enough of that brick to show so our school colors are noticeable,” she said.

• • •

QUESTION: Does the superintendent know there are dead trees at Sunflower Elementary School?

ANSWER: That question actually came from Stroh, who told me it’s a question she’s been getting a lot these days. Not to worry. The district has a two-year warranty on all plants and trees at Sunflower Elementary School and Ottawa High School, Stroh said.

“The standard is to leave the trees and shrubs that appear ‘dead’ for a while because sometimes they are just dormant,” she said. “We have great landscapers, along with school staff who will watch and when the time is right, replace the ones that are really dead.”

• • •

You all took my request last week for more “Ask Jodie” questions seriously…thank you to the many readers who recently submitted questions. Watch for answers in future columns.

Have a question about your community? Ask Jodie Garcia at