City school capital expenditures discussed
by By DELANEY WALKER Banner Staff Writer
Nov 05, 2013 | 1114 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Cleveland Board of Education unanimously agreed to go forward with several long-range facility capital expenditures at Monday night’s meeting.

The list included 10 capital projects totaling $397,500 to be completed across the school system.

Brenda Carson, Cleveland City Schools financial officer, reminded the board only $250,000 would be allotted to the projects. An additional $100,000 would remain in the capital projects budget for a cushion.

Board member Murl Dirksen proposed the board approve funding for the Stuart Elementary gym roof; radio communications for Cleveland High School and Cleveland Middle School; keyless entry for CMS; two regular buses and one special education bus; painting at E.L. Ross Elementary; and desks and furniture at E.L. Ross, the Teen Learning Center, Arnold Elementary and CMS.

The combined projects come with an estimated $257,000 price tag.

Energy Education Specialist Paul Ramsey said the expenses were figured on the high end. Costs are not likely to be any more than projected.

School board members reiterated the need for radio communications to be improved at Cleveland Middle. The current analog radio system allows the district to keep in touch during bad weather.

Ramsey suggested the radio system in every school should eventually receive an update to digital.

CMS Principal Mike Collier pointed out a faulty keyless entry system already exists at the school. The system has had issues since its 2002 installation. Collier suggested cutting costs on a new system by using components of the old one. He listed the current system’s wiring and magnetic strips as examples.

Ringstaff pointed out the possibility of providing keyless entry to the remaining schools through safety money provided by the state each summer.

Additional projects still on the table for correction at a later date include the Stuart auditorium roof; keyless entry at Arnold, Mayfield Elementary and Stuart; the parking lot at Blythe-Bower Elementary; painting of Arnold stairwells and the CHS baseball bleachers.

Stuart’s auditorium roof is expected to be taken care of during the 2014-15 fiscal year.

Board member Dawn Robinson said she is not ready to give approval to the painting of Arnold’s stairwells. She said the paint began to peel too soon after the last paint job.

Director of Maintenance and Transportation Hal Taylor gave insight into the issue.

“We have a moisture problem on one wall in the worst of the stairwells, and we actually have a negative pressure on that building,” Taylor said. “The air is actually pulling moisture through the wall, so then it causes the paint to peel.”

He suggested sealing the wall on the outside of the stairwell before repairing any damages on the inside. The estimated cost for sealing and painting is $2,500. This is one of the tabled capital expenditures.

Additional news discussed included: 

n Board members approved the new fees associated with the community use of school facilities.

Those requesting the use of the facilities have been separated into two main groups: (1) school-related groups and functions along with nonprofit organizations; and (2) commercial, public or private users. Ramsey said the new list provides a better understanding of what guests could and could not do.

n Politics are not to be played out on the Cleveland school campuses. Board members agreed the facilities could not be rented out for political events.

“We do have a policy about politics on school grounds, and we do not allow it,” Robinson said. “I don’t pass out fliers on school grounds when I run for school board, nor can a city councilor or commissioner.”