N.Putnam board looks for repair $

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Assistant Editor

North Putnam School Board members know the corporation is due for a facilities upgrade. What they don't know is where to start or how to pay for it.

For the second month in a row, the subject of aging buildings came up at the board's monthly meeting Thursday night, with the superintendent vowing to help the board prioritize a list of items to be addressed.

Suggested at the top of the list, by some board members, were repairs to the building at the high school that houses the swimming pool.

Total repairs, as outlined in a July report issued by Ohio-based Tremco, were $45,700. Those estimates were good for 60 days after the report was issued.

According to the preliminary assessment, performed at the school in May by Tremco officials, a large crack on the brick facade of the building and erosion of a column in the basement are among items suggested for repairs.

The report says the brick should be replaced and ties inserted to better secure the facade to the steel interior, thereby helping to realign the wall and strengthen it.

The report also suggests the possibility that the swimming pool may be leaking into the basement of the building, causing a concrete column to chip and crack. It was suggested that the concrete be removed and replaced and sealed to protect from moisture.

The report concludes by stating that the building is "in fine condition for a building of its age," but later points out that it is a preliminary report and that additional inspections are needed to better assess the building's condition.

On Tuesday night, board members wondered whether a portion of the $100,000 in refinancing dollars, stemming from the middle school addition in the early 1990s, could be used to cover the cost this or other project. No decisions were made.

Supt. Murray Pride told the BannerGraphic, after the meeting, that the $100,000 in refinancing money has to be spent on projects at the middle school.

Thursday night's discussion comes after the October school board meeting in which board members reviewed the results a feasibility study performed earlier this year by Indiana State University.

Among many items, the study suggested new windows and roofing at Roachdale Elementary, expansion at Bainbridge Elementary and new HVAC for both buildings.

Other items included more general space at the middle school and updated facilities at the high school.

ISU's Robert Boyd suggested the corporation could handle a capital debt of between $46 million and $69 million.

The board has taken no action on the feasibility study.

Meanwhile, board members met in a two-hour executive session prior to Thursday night's meeting and reconvened at the conclusion of the public session to discuss the issue further.

Board President Dale McGaughey said the executive meeting was for the purpose of discussing personnel issues. He would not say whether it was a teacher, administrator, staff member or other person being discussed. However, he said the safety of students was not at issue in this case.

McGaughey said that if a decision is to be made regarding the issue at hand, it will be done -- as required by law -- in a public meeting at a later date.

In other business, the school board:

* Recognized North Putnam High School students Ross Oliver, Clayton Jesse McMurtrey, Taylor Thomas and Ashley Witt, who have been held as heroes for recently rescuing a woman from a burning vehicle on U.S. 231 near Fincastle.

* Learned that 99.2 percent of parents attended parent-teacher conferences at Roachdale Elementary, followed by 86 percent at Bainbridge and 70 percent at the middle school. At the high school, 485 conferences were held, compared to 555 last year.

* Learned that teacher Sheri Roach has been nominated for Outstanding Teacher, an award offered by Indiana State University.

* Learned that a dress code committee has been formed and that a new dress code will be suggested for approval by the school board before the next school year.

* Voted to allow the corporation to advertise for a temporary loan, in the amount of $2 million, to be used for the period of January through June of 2008.

The North Putnam School Board meets at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month, at the corporation headquarters in Bainbridge.

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