Friday, August 15, 2014

Building Projects and Major Repair - Topics at LMSD Board Meeting

The Louisville Municipal School Board received an update on
construction, repairs and future plans for construction at schools in the district in their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday night (August 12). The District’s architect, Joey Anderson briefed the Board on work at the Eiland Middle School gym and the state of a possible new storm shelter/cafeteria at the Nanih Waiya Attendance Center.

Repair work at the gym at Eiland has been ongoing with air-conditioning installed and a new floor going down which is approximately three quarters completed. Henderson indicated that the floor is scheduled to be completed by September 1 and that new bleachers should be in place by September 15.

Discussions of a storm shelter to be used as a cafeteria at Nanih Waiya was the next topic of discussion. Henderson indicated that FEMA/MEMA review would require a reduction in the area of the storm shelter to approximately 4400 ft.². This area could not be used for kitchen purposes and that the district would need to pay for an additional 1600 ft.². The 6000 ft.² structure would be detached from other buildings at the school and would include the kitchen area of the cafeteria. The grant to build a shelter would require a 10% match by the School District and Henderson estimated the cost of the shelter area at approximately $250 per square foot and the cost of the kitchen area at roughly $180 per square foot. He indicated that including kitchen equipment, the cost to the District would be somewhere between $700,000 and $800,000 to complete this project. The board gave permission to continue in the planning stages and to further pursue grant funds.

Henderson indicated that a new cafeteria at Nanih Waiya was probably the highest building need in the District. The District had originally hoped to construct the whole facility including kitchen area with grant funds and had hoped that the area would be as large as 8000 ft.².

Superintendent McMullan took the opportunity to update the Board on other recent improvements in schools. This includes the fence project to be completed within days at Fair Elementary, playground improvements at Louisville Elementary, new stage and window curtains at the Louisville High School auditorium, painting projects at LHS, air-conditioning improvements at Nanih Waiya and new lights on the football field at Noxapater. McMullan noted that the District saved considerable funds by using displaced workers from Winston Medical Center, inmate labor provided by Sheriff Jason Pugh and EMEPA who are providing the labor to replace the lights at Noxapater.

McMullen also noted that there were ongoing repairs and improvements that needed to be done on a regular basis. With some roofs that have not been replaced in more than 20 years, roof repair is becoming a major issue. McMullen pointed out damage to the Louisville High School gymnasium floor due to leaks. He indicated that the District should plan to spend $ 1-1.5 million on roofs over the next few years.

Board member Bobby Moody noted the needs and the current balance of unrestricted funds and stated, “We are not a bank. If we have things that we need fixing we need to fix them.”