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Schools eye $10M in building projects
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A multi-year plan is being considered to improve four of the county’s school campuses, the total price tag estimated at just over $10 million.
“We will need to engage the County Commission at some point,” said Director of Schools Bobby Cox regarding the improvement plans that will include Bobby Ray Elementary, West Elementary, Eastside and Warren County Middle School.
Cox revealed the detailed estimates to the Board of Education, noting it will be a monstrous undertaking and could be a strain financially since the county has other expenses.
Taking the top spot as far as costs will be Warren County Middle School where there is an estimated $4.6 million in upgrades and improvements needed.
The biggest ticket item there for im-provement is $1 million for HVAC replacement in the main building and another quarter million for adding an HVAC in the gym area.
A roof replacement is needed in the main building and will cost around $700,000. There are al-so improvements needed in the kitchen, and to areas like the parking lot and storm drains.
As for the largest expenditure if the entire WCMS package is funded, a proposed $1.4 million, would be used to build a new middle school gym. A new gym is needed due to the small size of the present one.
Bobby Ray is second in expense in the proposed improvement projects. The plan calls for vari-ous improvements to the buildings, most of which date back to the 1970s. The improvements, it was noted, are far cheaper than constructing replacements for the present buildings, something that would cost around $14 million, or 10 times the amount it will cost to improve the existing school.
On the laundry list at Bobby Ray are things like doors, ceiling tiles, elevators, paving, relocation of a loading dock and wiring.
Just behind Bobby Ray in costs is Eastside, which needs updating in the areas of wiring, flooring replacement, lighting and kitchen upgrades. The biggest item being presented for Eastside is a $900,000 allotment to build six new classrooms. The School Board is hoping to replace portable class-rooms having to be used presently.
West needs the least with a $1.3 million estimate. West needs a new HVAC in the gym, lighting and wiring upgrades, new awnings and parking lot improvement.
As for a possible timetable to tackle the projects, Cox suggests that may be clearer once the board talks with the county Education Committee in March.