(Leitchfield, KY) – The Grayson County Board of Education has some tough decisions to make and quickly, according to Superintendent Barry Anderson, after the district received the news Thursday afternoon, just hours before their regular monthly meeting, that their renovation project planned for the high school had more than doubled in price.
The district has been working towards a kitchen, locker room, and bathroom renovation project at the Grayson County High School and a kitchen/bathroom renovation project at H.W. Wilkey Elementary. The renovations projects are needed to replace dilapidated plumbing in the buildings that were constructed in the 1970’s.
The high school plumbing pipes are flushed on a pretty regular basis, according to conversation at the Board of Education meeting Thursday, April 11, 2013, between Superintendent Anderson and board members.
Scott Jackson, Architect with Clotfelter Samokar, explained to board members that the numbers for the high school project had increased for multiple reasons.
The original BG1 form approved for the high school project was for $671,630 and the new cost and revised BG1 form approved Thursday, April 11, 2013, later in the meeting, is for $1,484,113; a difference of $785,000.
Jackson said “light bulb moments” occurred as the architects began to review the proposed work to upgrade, repair and replace some of the building’s working elements, they realized that the Kentucky Department of Education had standards that would have to be met, but had not been realized or priced at the beginning of the project.
He said, for example, the girls’ locker room currently has two shower heads and a single use restroom, but the DOE expects to see a minimal of five shower heads and multiple restroom fixtures for those students in P.E. class.
The kitchen area was a similar story, as the architects began to work through the concept, they realized the DOE had a check list the kitchen renovation must meet: kitchen office space, mop sink, washing machine, and a restroom area; things the current high school kitchen does not have, or has a substandard version of.
The project name was upgrade by the DOE to ‘Major Renovation at GCHS.’
Part of the project is to tear up the floor and replace the plumbing infrastructure, but Jackson said they realized that the electrical conduit was in the flooring as well, raising the costs of the project, but also offering them the opportunity to rearrange the kitchen for a better working flow for the kitchen staff. Jackson said this was not part of the original BG1 form but they felt it was the right thing to do.
Superintendent Anderson said they didn’t anticipate any problems at H.W. Wilkey Elementary, it’s not near the renovation, but it is a kitchen and bathroom renovation with a total price tag of $484,113.
Board member Mona Fulkerson pressed the issue with the electrical conduit being discovered in the flooring just recently by the architect firm saying, “Where did you think the electric stuff was in the original BG1?”
Jackson stated he was not involved in the original meeting but he thought the more “frank thought was, it wasn’t thought of.”
Anderson said, “If it had been in the original BG1 it (price) would have been much higher.” He said it was just something the engineers or architects missed, but now the board members were going to have to make a decision if they can afford to do the renovation at the high school or would it zero-out their bond potential, which is how the total project will be funded. Anderson said, “Another major concern is time, are we going to have enough time.”
He called the plumbing issue at the high school a time bomb.
The goal was to have the kitchen plumbing renovation project completed this summer before school started back the first week of August and to work after school hours to complete the bathroom/locker rooms in blocks.
Jackson suggested getting the corridors tore-up and replaced by the time school starts and to work on the bathrooms and locker rooms in blocks and stall the kitchen project until next summer.
Anderson said the board had tough, quick decisions to make and feared if the kitchen renovation was stalled until next year the price would increase.
Jackson said the bids will be what the bids are and doesn’t think it would add dollars to the bid to stall the project. He did think they district would pay a higher price if they tried to force a completion date this summer because the contractors would be adding overtime/double time to their bids.
The board went ahead and approved the necessary revised BG1, BG2, and BG3 design development packages for the high school and elementary school projects, in case they decide to continue with the renovation project this summer, then the proper paperwork will be in place.
In other school board business:
The BOE awarded two students, Cody Bryant Weatherford and Terri Ann Lucas, with $1000 scholarships for being the first members of their families to attend college.
Eight employees are retiring after this school year. Those include Patricia Elmore - Secretary at Lawler Elementary, Linda Baxter - Secretary at GCHS, Charles Hawkins - Bus Driver, Peggy McGrew – Teacher at Wilkey Elementary, Sharon Annette Cannon – Teacher at Caneyville Elementary, Benny Day – Teacher at Tech Center, and Helen Waggoner – Instruction Assistant at Alternative Education Center.
The final day of school will be May 15, 2013. Students had missed one day but the BOE decided to not have the students’ makeup the day, saying with new site standards for teachers to learn the extra day would be better utilized by teachers working on those standards. Also, the students have completed all of the demanded instructional hours required by Kentucky Law.
The GCHS Senior Graduation Ceremony is slated for Sunday, May 19th at the Grayson County High School Gymnasium at 3:00 p.m.
The BOE approved the following items:
The revised Comprehensive District Improvement Plan.
To renew their membership with Green River Regional Education al Cooperative for the next school year for the purpose of supporting and expanding the district’s services to students and staff, as well as participation in the GRREC’s Grant Writing Consortium.
To retain the CPA firm of Buckles, Travis, VanMeter and Hart as the independent auditors for Grayson County Schools financial records FY ending June 30, 2013.
To write the Grayson County Community Early Childhood Council’s grant proposal for the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood-Community Early Childhood Council grant and serve as fiscal agent, if awarded. The overall goal of the grant is to improve school readiness for the birth-5 year old population. Total amount available is $14,100.
GCHS Senior class trip to Kings Island in Ohio on May 3, 2013. Students will pay for their trip, and the senior fund will pay expenses. Approximately 150 students, 6 faculty sponsors and two transportation sponsors)
GCMS band and orchestra teachers request for permission to take the 7th and 8th grad groups to Holiday World in Santa Claus, IN on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 as an end-of-the-year award trip.
To hire approximately 200 emergency certified substitute teachers for the next school year. Anderson explained this will be done each school year due to new language in legislation passed this year; it does not mean new substitute teachers for district.
A request from Emma Jackson, Cook/Baker at Clarkson Elementary School, for a leave of absence for four weeks beginning April 17, 2013.