The Grayson County School Board held a special-called meeting on Monday afternoon to discuss plumbing renovations at Grayson County High School and H. W. Wilkey Elementary School.
Superintendent Barry Anderson explained to the group that the plumbing issues at these two schools comprise “the number one issue on our facilities plan right now,” and said that a group, which included architect Scott Jackson, with the Lexington-based firm Clotfelter-Samokar, spent three hours last Wednesday looking at the issues and discussing solutions.
Both schools are aging, and according to discussion at the meeting, have had a variety of issues over many years. Currently, the group feels that the main need is a revamp of the bathroom facilities, which would include laying new lines, and installing new sinks, toilets, hand dryers and tile.
“We’re lucky there have been no more issues than we’ve had,” said Board Chair Carolyn Thomason.
Anderson added that, “some days, we’re just crossing our fingers.”
Daryl Haycraft, a custodian at Wilkey, said that there have been “ongoing problems with [the plumbing lines] getting corroded,” and that these issues have led to the removal of the water fountains and sinks in the kindergarten area at the school.
Haycraft said that it has not yet significantly impacted the students, but that it is “not handy.”
Board member Mona Fulkerson, who made the motion to go ahead with the estimates, said “I’ll be happy to make a motion to do that. It’s not too soon.”
While contractors have not yet put together an official estimate for the renovations, a preliminary look at the work suggests that for both schools, it would carry a price tag of around 1.2 to 1.3 million dollars, which includes a little padding for contingency funds. Anderson said that the amount is “less than we originally thought.”
The school board voted to go ahead and give approval for formal drawings and estimates to be completed, and these could be presented as early as the February board meeting.
The group hopes to be able to begin the renovations during the upcoming summer break, and have the new plumbing and bathroom facilities completed by the time students return to school in the fall. “It’s our hope that we’ll be able to start [renovations] basically the first day we’re out,” Anderson said.
He told the group that while both schools are scheduled to host numerous events and groups throughout the summer, the repairs are a top priority, and “we’ll work it out.”
Anderson finished by saying, “I’m excited to be able to get this completed before we go back to school this fall.”
In other School Board news:
- The board carried out their annual Superintendent’s evaluation, which was discussed in closed session at Monday’s special meeting. Superintendent Barry Anderson received outstanding marks across the charts, including in the categories of Leadership and District Culture, Policy and Governance, Communications and Community Relations, Organizational Management, Curriculum Planning Development, Instructional Leadership, Values and Ethics of Leadership, Student Achievement and Learning, and Human Resources Management.
The board’s notes praised Anderson for being “very involved with students at all levels,” and “diplomatic in dealing with tough problems.” Further notes indicated that Anderson “has built an effective team to manage facilities, finances and district technology and curriculum” in addition to “promoting our district to the business community,” and “providing programs to recognize student successes.”