Blair Oaks board approves projects

The Blair Oaks Board of Education dispatched a number of financial decisions Tuesday night, including the approval of a list of minor capital projects designed to maintain the quality of several campus buildings.

One of the larger-ticket items on the to-do list is the replacement of several elementary school doors and the creation of a new front vestibule, for a combined cost of $24,200.

Getting rid of outdated front doors will provide more security and creating a new vestibule would give students a shelter in the mornings as they wait for the school to open, administrators said.

Tuesday’s decision did not include funding to add electronic security locks at the school, primarily because maintenance staff have not yet received bid information for those changes and some board members want to study how locking the doors during the day might change the culture of openness on the campus.

The board also agreed to replace the school’s gravel playground with a new surface. Superintendent Jim Jones said the gravel, which spills onto nearby sidewalks and poses a slip-and-fall hazard for students, was an experiment that didn’t work out.

The board also agreed to upgrade the elementary school’s restroom with new partitions, and possibly new toilets and sinks, at an estimated cost of $6,599, and purchase new intercom speakers at an estimated cost of $1,050.

For the middle school, the board approved the addition of sound-proofing material for the gymnasium, cafeteria and music room. The new 4-by-8-foot homasote panels — a kind of cellulose fiber wallboard — would be covered with burlap, said Maintenance Director Randy Prenger.

The board also approved a $539 request to add some stainless steel panels in the school’s trash can area.

For the high school, the board approved a plan to hire an outside firm to repair and paint the lockers at a cost of $4,175. Prenger said to replace the lockers would cost $60,985.

The board also approved a new backdrop curtain and new draperies for the school’s stage. The total cost of the new theater equipment is $6,961.

For the district’s central office, the board approved remodeling the building’s bathroom — at a cost of $904 — and creating some additional filing storage space and an additional office on the second floor.

Added together, the projects are anticipated to cost the district between $50,000 and $60,000.

Prenger also warned board members they are going to have to deal with roof replacements projects soon. The roof on the first addition of the elementary school is about 25 years old now and the roof over the high school teacher’s workroom needs help, he said.

“It doesn’t mean we’ll accomplish all these projects this summer,” Prenger said. “But we’ll get a good start on them.”


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