The Cleveland Board of Education is considering buses and roof repair as important capital outlay projects for this fiscal year.
Many needs were brought to the board Thursday during a meeting with school principals.
Director of Schools Martin Ringstaff said the school system had approximately $250,000 to use on the projects. An additional $100,000 will be kept in reserve for emergencies.
The board will review prices for top needs during its meeting in November.
Ringstaff said fixing the Raider Dome at Cleveland High School might change the amount of money available.
“The dome study could be a City Council discussion,” Ringstaff said, commenting that the school board did not know how much the project would cost.
Maintenance and transportation supervisor Hal Taylor said the need for additional buses would be at the top of his priority list.
He said the school has split runs every day to pick up students. Buses designed to accommodate special education students are also a major need. Taylor suggested the school system buy used buses as a cost-saving measure.
“For me that would be the No. 1 priority,” Taylor said.
Replacing the roof at Stuart Elementary School is also a major concern to him because the damage to the roof and building are only going to get worse. Ringstaff suggested taking care of the gym roof and working on the auditorium roof later.
Peeling paint at Arnold Memorial Elementary School was also discussed as a need. Principal Michael Chai said painting work done this summer in the stairwells is fine. However, he added, areas near the stairwells are beginning to peel.
Board member Murl Dirksen said the paint had peeled several times in the stairwells mentioned. He said he wanted the school board to fix the issue so it would not continue to be a problem.
“That has been a continual problem,” Dirksen said.
Board member Peggy Pesterfield asked why the paint kept peeling. Chai said he though originally latex was being painted over an oil-based paint, causing it to peel. He said it might also have to do with humidity.
“The areas that are most affected are the areas where the students have their hands, but there are other areas that have been affected,” Chai said.
Pesterfield suggested coating the area with something else. Taylor suggested sanding down to the brick and leaving it as the plain brick. Chai said he would be fine with that if there is some kind of sealant on it.
“We need to address the need for additional buses because if we don’t get them to school, none of this is going to matter,” Paul Ramsey said.
Safety was a focus of many of the concerns.
Safety issues with the baseball bleachers were also discussed.
“The baseball bleachers are basically slabs of concrete. They don’t have hand rails or a back,” CHS Principal Autumn O’Bryan said.
Board member Steve Morgan said he would like to see the board consider the bleachers a major priority for safety reasons. Taylor said the current bleachers do not meet current regulations.
“Do you want to fix the existing bleachers knowing we are not really in compliance?” Taylor said. “Those are basically an I-beam used for a building set flat on the blocks.”
At the middle and high schools, the location of the schools in proximity to ridges causes conditions where teachers and faculty cannot always hear each other on their handheld radios. Signals are not reaching the current tower properly. Ringstaff said this could become a real security issue in an emergency situation. Taylor said he had been looking into prices to put a tower on the mountain near the middle school. Morgan said he wanted the radios to be the top priority on the maintenance list.
CMS Principal Mike Collier said teachers and administrators have been using their cellphones instead of the radios.
Dirksen asked what needs the Teen learning Center had. He said he would like to see the carpet removed.
TLC Principal Barbra Ector said her biggest need is teacher’s desks. She said she also wants to upgrade the handheld metal detectors the school uses. A fence for the back of the property was also discussed.
Keyless entry was another safety issue discussed.
Furniture to accommodate growth and parking issues at Blythe-Bower were also discussed. The greatest furniture need is to replace five cafeteria tables at Cleveland Middle School.