Polk schools facing heating, air problems

By LARRY C. BOWERS
Posted 11/8/18

Polk County Board of Education members are being asked to assist with an ongoing problem facing the school system — antiquated heating and air units.At Tuesday evening's board meeting at Copper …

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Polk schools facing heating, air problems

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Polk County Board of Education members are being asked to assist with an ongoing problem facing the school system — antiquated heating and air units.

At Tuesday evening's board meeting at Copper Basin High School, Director of Schools D. James Jones provided school board members with information compiled to date on the old system.

Repair costs over the past few years ($400,000) have been excessive, and more work is needed. Polk Schools do not have a maintenance contract on the heating and air system.

Maintenance personnel are currently attempting to determine the age of all the units, hoping to assist in a decision on which ones need repair, and others that need to be replaced.

Former board chair James Davis asked if it would be beneficial to train a member of the maintenance crew to work on  the system.

Jones said the Maintenance Department is already behind on ongoing projects, and pulling one of them off would delay those projects even more. He added that it might even result in the need for a new hire in maintenance.

Board members were asked to review the information and make suggesto to December's meeting with suggestions.

In the meantime, additional information will be compiled.

In other school board action Tuesday:

• Some policy changes, recommended by the Tennessee School Board Association, was approved on second and final reading.

• Board members approved action regarding a bid proposal for upgrades to Polk County's Central Office computers for the Finance Department's payroll and accounting system.

The director of schools said this is being required by the state Department of Education, and funding is in place.

"Our system is 4 to 5 years old," he pointed out, "and the software has outrun the hardware."

• Also approved by the board was an overnight trip by the Copper Basin boys basketball team to play in a tournament at Pigeon Forge High School, in Sevier County.

• The board approved two other overnight trips for Polk County students. They include a trip by Copper Basin's Health Science class to Vanderbilt University, for a HOSA Health Symposium; and a trip by FFA students to a leadership Conference at Doyle High School in Knox County.

 • Culminating Tuesday's school board meeting was approval of the 2019-20 school calendar, and approval of Textbook Committee appointees.

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