With roofing funds now — but barely — secured from the Sampson County Board of Commissioners, the Clinton City Board of Education is moving ahead with projects at both L.C. Kerr and Butler Avenue elementary schools, unanimously approving an architectural design contract for the ventures Monday night. The school board also approved an additional, separate contract for a classroom construction project at the system’s College Street campus.
During a work session earlier this week, city school board members looked over a contract for the two roofing projects — roof replacements — proposed by Pinnacle Architecture which, according to Clyde Locklear, assistant superintendent for finances/facilities, would supply “design and construction administration” services, including a review of the shingle roofs at Kerr and at Butler plus the single ply roof at Butler, for $18,500.
The city schools began pursuing the roofing projects at Kerr and Butler last October, bringing requests for funding to county commissioners. The system’s requests were tabled until commissioners revisited them a month later. In November, school board member Randy Barefoot and Locklear stressed the poor state of the two schools’ roofs to commissioners; Barefoot referred to a study by JKF Architecture performed in 2001 which recommended that the roofs at Butler and at Kerr be replaced in 2014 and 2015, respectively, taking into account their age and overall condition. Performing their own re-evaluation in June 2013, REI Engineers Group agreed.
“There have been some repairs, but due to the age of the shingles and its deteriorating, it’s going to be hard to go in there and make repairs,” explained Locklear then. “That’s why they advised that we’re going to throw in good money after bad if you try to do a wholesale repair on the roof. You can see patched areas where shingles are being lost and the deterioration has just continued.”
After much discussion — and by a close vote — county commissioners approved the Clinton City Schools’ request for funding, approval that paved the way for the school system to take the next steps with the projects.
School board member Jason Walters questioned if metal, instead of shingle, roofing had been considered. Superintendent Stuart Blount explained that Pinnacle Architecture, if awarded the contract, would provide some roofing alternates for the two roof sections at Butler and the costs differences associated as compared to using asphalt shingles for school officials and the school board to discuss at a later date.
“The ultimate goal, with a fixed amount of money, is to get as many things done as possible,” said Blount, stressing the need to eliminate, as best they can, going back to the county to ask for additional funds in four or five years.
“We’re trying to take care of a large roofing need,” he continued, adding that the system will strive to do as much as it can with — and be “good stewards” of — the money it has been given.
School board members then asked about other proposed contracts for the roofing projects. Locklear shared that REI had also submitted a proposal but that it was “almost twice as much.”
Barefoot made a motion to approve the contract from Pinnacle Architecture for the roofing projects at Butler and Kerr, and school board vice chairman E.R. Mason provided the needed seconded. The contract was awarded with a unanimous vote.
Locklear noted that the commissioners would receive an update from the school system on the roofing projects once bids are received.
The city school board also considered an additional, separate contract — one again proposed by Pinnacle Architecture — during Monday night’s work session for a new “More at Four” pre-K classroom in the main front building on the system’s historic 606 College St. campus.
Back in December, Locklear shared that plans were being made to renovate one more classroom at the facility in the old personnel space that used to be housed there when the building used as the city school system’s central services office, bringing the total number of classrooms in the building to four.
“I would like to get the design, bid, and contract done by April,” said Locklear then, adding that if a contractor can be secured by the time the 2013-14 school year ends then the contractor would be able to do the renovation work during the summer while school is out and be finished by the time students and staff return in August.
This new classroom will “get them (one of the pre-K classes) into a classroom and off the stage of the multipurpose room,” he noted.
Barefoot again made a motion to approve the Pinnacle Architecture contract — this time for $13,200 which is to be funded by a gift from a private donor — for architectural design services for the additional pre-K classroom. Mason followed with another second, and the motion carried unanimously.
School board chairwoman Georgina Zeng inquired if there were any plans for the campus’ other building, an auditorium/multipurpose room located near the back of the property.
Locklear shared that hopefully the school system would soon be able to do “some sprucing up of the old auditorium” which will continue to house two pre-K classrooms.
Lauren Williams can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 117 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.