Committee Recommends KCR-I Board Put Bond Issue On Ballot

Committee Recommends KCR-I Board Put Bond Issue On Ballot

By Echo Menges

The Knox County R-I School District’s Facilities Improvement Steering Committee (FISC) is comprised of twelve community members including a mix of past and present School Board members, a teacher, principal, the school’s Maintenance Director, Superintendent, Administrative Assistant and a two community representatives. The group met for the second time in as many weeks on Monday, December 12, 2011 getting to work on making recommendations to the KCR-I School Board concerning repairs and improvements to the Knox County schools.The committee sat down with a 30-year master plan and project cost projection list recently put together by the engineering and architecture firm, Klinger & Associates.The committee poured over the list which was comprised of 30 projects with the goal of dissecting it and putting each project in one of three categories: the projects that “have to” be done in the immediate future, the projects that “need to” be done in the near future and the projects they’d “like to” see done, but can wait. After discussing each item on the list the committee agreed there are nine items that fall in the “have to” be addressed first category. They are: an electrical upgrade for the high school which is still, for the most part, original; upgrade the lighting in the high school to a more efficient and updated system; upgrade the lighting in the high school gym; new windows and window infill including interior work in the high school to combat water infiltration of the exterior walls and repair of the damage to the inside walls; brick tuckpointing due to water infiltration in selective areas; brick sealing due to water infiltration in selective areas; brick replacement due to water infiltration in selective areas; replacing the high school’s roof fascia to preserve the life of the school’s semi-new roof; installing SAT (drop) ceilings in the high school.The “need to” list is just as extensive with nine more projects the committee deemed pressing, but not as immediately pressing as the “have to” list. The “need to” list includes structural repair of the central office, remodeling that office, exterior door and hardware replacement in the high school and elementary school, waterproofing the basement, improving pavement accessibility around all three schools, site drainage to stop water from flowing into the elementary school, replacing lavatory faucets in the high school, replacing lavatory faucets in the elementary school and an elementary school lighting upgrade.Twelve projects were left in the “like to” list, which the committee didn’t consider to be as pressing as the first two lists.The “need to” and the “have to” lists together equate to nearly two million dollars.The FISC decided unanimously to recommend the School Board put a no tax increase bond question on the ballot right away, which would be the April 2012 election.The final decision to put the question on the April ballot belongs to the KCR-I School Board and ultimately, sooner or later, the decision of how many of these “have to” and “need to” projects get completed will end up in the hands of Knox County voters.