The project comes after several conversations between JKS Architects, Marcum Engineering and Superintendent Tim McGinnis regarding the safety of the school’s air supply. According to engineers and architects, the air quality in the elementary school is below par, as it holds excess moisture, which can inevitably cause serious damage to the infrastructure of the school.
"Our priority was air quality in the basement of the elementary school, and that’s a health and safety issue," McGinnis said. "Plus, it was the most expensive of the projects we identified. And if the General Assembly approves a budget and funds the state offer they gave us last year, we can bond enough money to pay for that one project."
School Board members chose to pursue the project after considering several other projects engineers said were immediate need.
One such project is the roof of the bus garage, something Bruce Nelson of JKS Architects said was in a "crisis" state. McGinnis and other school officials said it is in dire need of repair. It was estimated to cost approzimately $98,000.
"So the bottom line is that we have two and a half million dollars worth of immediate needs and seven to $800,000 that we can bond to address them," McGinnis said.
The elementary school project is estimated to cost approximately $700,000.
Middle School facing infrastructure problems
After barely 4 years of use, the Trigg County Middle School has been diagnosed with some potentially serious problems.
One of which is grease located in the sanitary sewer lines. This problem has been around for some time and attempted to be remedied, however no certain fix has been done. It sits among 22 other rated problems on the basis of severity and cost.
"We had some issues and we’ve had some problems," McGinnis said referring to the sewer problems.
According to McGinnis, the school has hired a plumber in the past to come and see what problems existed in the sewer lines. The determination that was given said that there was some grease in the line, however the problem could be fixed if grease was not dumped in the incorrect drain. He also said the problem has been somewhat fixed as the school does not fry food as much as they had done in the past due to state mandates.
Asked why these 23 problems were not handled immediately, McGinnis said there wasn’t a whole lot the school could have done.
"We had our architects, we had our engineers, it passed all inspections, all the plans did, and if it meets codes, what recourse do we have," he said. "Now if it doesn’t meet code and and there some lighting issues, then the question is do we go back and to the original engineers and architects and say ‘you did not meet code, therefore you are going to have to pay for this upgrade?’ and that is something we are going to revisit."
McGinnis said that there is little legal recourse the district could pursue against the contractors of the project as all things completed in the school met code and passed inspection at the time of completion.
McGinnis said the board was "not very happy" about this situation.
In order to fix all the problems in the Middle School, it would cost the board nearly $101,000. All the improvement recommendations that were submitted were rated on a scale of importance from low to high-plus. Low rating projects are estimated to cost $33,900. High rated projects are estimated at $26,200 and high-plus at $40,800.
McGinnis said it would be difficult and possibly costly to pursue legal action against the contractors.