Schools’ building committee hears bad news first

Published 2:24 am Saturday, January 13, 2007

By Staff
Bath Elementary progressing despite other shortfalls
By DAN PARSONS, Staff Writer
The Building and Grounds Committee of the Beaufort County Board of Education met Thursday to discuss ongoing maintenance and construction of county schools. Board member H.E. Boyd characterized the bulk of discussion by saying “if it weren’t for our bad luck, we wouldn’t have any luck at all.”
The meeting began with a presentation addressing the leaky roof on Northeast Elementary School.
Estimates for possible solutions to the problem ranged from $16,000 to $58,000 and carried warranties from five to 20 years. Because the leak resulted from elements of the original construction, the committee had the option to have the roof re-caulked at no charge, but that solution was not guaranteed to fix the problem. Harden said the caulking and sealant would most likely have to be redone every five years.
A motion made by Warren to that effect passed unanimously.
An update on the new P.S. Jones building brought more bad news to the table. Outlet plates and other fixtures have still not be installed, much of the vinyl-tile floor of the school was improperly installed and sinkholes caused by improper burial of electrical equipment have appeared on the campus, according to Philip Boyd, director of plant operations for the school system.
Superintendent Jeff Moss was confident that all of the problems would be fixed.
Northside High School may also have serious structural problems, according to Boyd. The building has settled on its foundation since construction and stress fractures have appeared at the corners of the building. An engineer is being brought in to assess the severity of the cracks and to suggest a solution to the problem, Boyd said.
But not all of the news presented to the committee was negative. Moss announced that construction on Bath Elementary School is progressing well.
The committee moved to redirect a capital-outlay request for $29,000 for bus GPS units to create a furniture fund for the school.
Another decision by the committee may make communication between school administration and parents more efficient and informative. A recommendation was made to give Moss authority to begin negotiations with Connect Ed regarding the installation of a first-alert telephone system.
The system would allow Moss, or another central-office employee, to reach the thousands of parents in the school system in minutes with a recorded voice message.