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Morgan BOE approves capital improvement plan

A five-year capital improvement plan consisting of 18 separate projects and totaling nearly $43.1 million was approved by the Morgan County Board of Education at its regular meeting on Sept. 14.

Of that amount, $40 million is earmarked for two new high school construction projects and $1.1 million is set aside for use in fiscal 2012-2013 on projects ranging in priority from one through 10.

A new high school at Priceville is listed in the plan at priority No. 16. However, funding totaling $27 million has been obtained through a general obligation bond issue and the design phase is underway. Additions and renovations to Falkville High School totaling an estimated $15 million are listed at No. 17.

Information technology upgrades is listed at the top of the priority list with $100,000 to be spent this fiscal year on wireless technology. It was agreed that the same amount of money should be earmarked in each year of the capital plan to keep pace with technology needs in classrooms.

The replacement of deteriorating roofs and the installation of bleachers in the West Morgan Elementary School gym were given No. 2 and No. 3 priority status, respectively.

Transportation and Maintenance Director Hank Summerford said $400,000 would be needed to do re-roofing work while $60,000 was set aside for the bleachers. Both projects are under way.

Other top ten 10 projects are listed as follows:

•Priority 4 – replace old HVAC units all over the school system with Mitsubishi or Fujitsu ductless units, $250,000.

•Priority 5 – Replace deteriorated sidewalks around the front of the Tom Drake Gymnasium at Falkville High School, $20,000.

•Priority 6 – Remove carpet in library at Cotaco school and replace with tile, $8,000.

•Priority 7 – Install drop ceilings where needed in schools throughout the system to cover deteriorating Tectum ceiling, $125,000.

•Priority 8 – Repair the elementary gym floor at Cotaco School, $25,000.

•Priority 9 – Install new gym floor at West Morgan High School, $65,000.

•Priority 10 – Renovate junior high field house at Falkville High School, $40,000.

Other capital projects are listed as follows:

•Priority 11 – Addition to home-side stadium bleachers at Brewer High School, $150,000.

•Priority 12 – Build practice gym at Danville High School, $150,000.

•Priority 13 – Build an elementary gym at Lacey’s Spring School, $150,000.

•Priority 14–Complete the office complex at Danville High School, $800,000.

•Priority 15 – Relocate office complex at Sparkman Elementary School.

•Priority 16 – Construct new high school at Bethel and Upper River Road in Priceville.

•Priority 17 – Demolish existing high school building (built in 1939) and construct new building at Falkville High School. The renovated auditorium would remain intact. Also, demolish and build a new Agribusiness and Family & Consumer Science building.

•Priority 18 – Demolish and replace concrete block field house with metal framed building at Brewer High School.

The Capital Improvement Plan Committee also discussed a problem of ground water getting into a sewer service line at Eva School, resulting in high sewage charges. However, no action was taken on the matter after Summerford reported that the problem has become less of a concern since timers were installed on the pumps that prevent ground water from overloading the sewer line.

Superintendent Bill Hopkins said he wants to see a facility provided at Eva School so that an Agribusiness program can be provided to the students there.

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