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School safety upgrades still in works
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Director of Schools Bobby Cox updated members of the School Board about ongoing projects within the school system during a recent School Board meeting.
The first update regarded the camera systems and new locks for schools.
“We bid the project and it came in a little bit over what the budget was. I met with Ken Roberts, the engineer, and he asked if there were some things we might be able to reduce to get down to where we’ve got a manageable level,” said Cox.
Cox said Roberts suggested only having a magnetic card reader on one side of the main entrance doors, instead of both sides.
 “It is a magnetic-like eye or motion sensor that when someone comes to the door, it releases the magnet. We really wouldn’t need that on both sides. He suggested taking that out and rebid the project,” said Cox.
 Cox said the back door of Warren Academy can also possibly be done in-house. He believes those changes can reduce the charges down to where he and the School Board want them to be.
“The county has agreed to pay for that in its entirety and part of that will come out of that capital outlay note. It has gone out and been rebid,” said Cox.
 There was a prebid meeting and new bids were opened last week. Bids for this project are scheduled to be approved at the next county Financial Management meeting which is set for this Thursday, June 27, at 4:45 p.m. The meeting will be held in the County Administrative Building on Locust Street.
Cox informed School Board members the gym floor at the high school is in the process of being taken up.
“They are taking the floor out in pieces,” said Cox. “Lighting projects at WCHS gym, WCHS auxiliary gym and WCMS gym will also be completed. The plan is to get the floor out, put the new floor down. It has to have some time to season, maybe a couple of weeks to become acclimated to the environment in the gym. The engineer said we can go ahead and start removing the metal-halide lamps and put in the T5 lamps while it is seasoning. Then they will come back and finish the floor, do all the striping and the artwork on the floor.”
Cox said, “The sound system will be next on the plate. I don’t know if we have any money right now to complete the sound system but we need to go ahead and get that going.”
Cox was referring to the sound system at WCHS gym which most residents hear during Pioneer basketball games.
School Board chairman Bill Zechman said, “I personally hope you can find some money. You might want to consider consulting an acoustic engineer. You don’t accomplish anything by having a huge, gargantuan amplifier and drivers if you are just bouncing all that power off the walls and that is what you are doing. That’s what’s creating this awful distortion in sound.”
School Board member Jeff Lee said, “That needs to be a priority. That is an embarrassment to Warren County.”