Published Date Written by Lloyd JonesCONWAY — The new Kennett High School is not so new anymore. The school turns five this year and is starting to require some maintenance work. The board recently approved $284,942 in work to be done that includes paving and restriping the parking lots, resurfacing the track and tennis courts and installing shock-resistant flooring in Loynd Auditorium.
The Conway School Board voted unanimously 7-0 last month to do 10 projects, including eight at the high school.
The board's facilities committee (Rick Breton and Dick Klement) met April 30 with school superintendent Carl Nelson, Kennett High principal Neal Moylan, SAU 9 director of administrative services Jim Hill, and Conway buildings and grounds director Andy Grigel to review closing the fund balance of construction funds at the high school. Iincluded in those funds was over $50,000 from the library roof settlement; proposed maintenance projects using unexpended fund balances; and those projects approved a part of next year's budget.
The committee recommended closing the construction balance fund by allocating $90,000 for the paving and restriping of the high school parking lots because the lots never received the finish coat of pavement when the original project was finished.
The following items were also recommended by the committee to be done using unexpended fund balances:
• Refinishing the high school gym floor: $15,392.
• Resurface the track: $22,000.
• Resurface the tennis courts: $19,000.
• Replace the Millen Stadium scoreboard: $15,000.
• Replace Conway Elementary School gymnasium windows: $5,000.
• Installing additional surveillance cameras at the high school: $9,000.
• Installing shock resistant flooring in the auditorium: $41,550.
"We saved money in facilities throughout the year because we knew we had things that needed to get done," Klement explained Wednesday.
The following projects were included in approval of the 2012-13 budget by voters April 11:
• Purchase a commercial mower form the high school to match the existing unit with the current mower to be rotated to the Conway Elementary School/Kennett Middle School for their use: $32,000.
• Purchase the middle school air handler to match the other 22 similar models already in service: $35,000.
On May 14, Nelson recommended the school board accept the facility committee's recommendation, which the board did without a greet deal of discussion.
Janie McLauchlan, board chairman, explained the need to install shock-resistant flooring.
"When the auditorium was built, the thinking was that it would be used for dance and plays primarily," she said. "At the time the decision was made to do a low-cost plywood (floor) so you could screw props into the floor.
"There's no cushion in the floor," McLauchlan continued, "and the use has changed over the last few years. Now it's used more for the performing arts than for plays."
Breton said the shock-resistant flooring was "not the highest priority" on the list. It actually ranked last of the seven items to be addressed through unexpended funds.
The stadium scoreboard has never worked properly since its first year on the campus Klement said. He stated it was initially donated and the people donating it chose the manufacturer.
"We have tried to make it work and cannot," he said. "We have a magnificent stadium and we feel it is time to get a proper scoreboard that functions."
Pepsi beat out Coke for the rights to be the school's scoreboard supplier and invested $25,000 in the stadium scoreboard as well as two for the gymnasium.
Klement said the facilities committee met to talk about future projects such as adding fiber optics.
"We talked about the new (high) school and it's five years old now and not so new," he said. "The track and tennis courts need preventative maintenance every five- to seven-year intervals. Being up north and with the winters we have it's more like an every four- to five-year (resurfacing need). If we choose to delay this, which we could, but by not doing preventative maintenance we could end up paying a much larger amount down the road.
"After five years stuff starts happening," Klement continued. "A light switch being turned on 50 to 100 times a day over five years ages quickly. If we don't take care of what we have, we're going to end up in the same condition as the old school, and no one wants that."