By: J.L. Rebeor
FULTON – Fulton City School District voters will cast their ballots Feb. 4 for projects totaling $4.4 million to maintain the districts buildings and to keep the children and employees more secure, but with state aid the local taxpayer’s burden would be a fraction of that amount.
Superintendent Bill Lynch reviewed the capital projects up for vote during a public hearing Wednesday evening at Lanigan Elementary School. About a dozen residents and school administrators were on hand to ask and answer questions.
“This project has five major features in terms of enhancement to our school facilities,” Lynch said.
Due to building aid money provided by state aid, and an infusion of $150,000 from the district’s savings for such projects, the final cost to school district taxpayers is expected to be less than $44,000.
“The local share would potentially be a maximum of 1 percent of the project,” Lynch said. “In terms of the enhancements we can provide, the funding that we get from the state is significant.”
The first project on the list for discussion was the synthetic gym floor at Lanigan Elementary, originally installed in 1974. According to Lynch the rubberized flooring is beginning to separate in several areas from its concrete sub base. “It essentially looks like it is bubbling up … and is an uneven surface which creates a safety concern,” he said. While the gym is still being used, the superintended explained the floor’s deterioration has accelerated in the last two years and would not be safe to use much longer. That project is estimated to cost $410,000 of the proposed $4.4 million.
Lynch said part of the cost is for remediation of mercury, a catalyst used in the installation of rubberized flooring.
King + King Architects Project Manager Kerry Tarolli said the project has been designed knowing the mercury remediation would be required. “We’ve found in the past that when we go to removed some of these (floors) sometimes (the mercury) hasn’t even fully cured,” she said. “So we have contingencies, budgets built in, just in case.”
The next project up for consideration is the replacement of all classroom and office door locks that can only be locked from the outside. That accounts for $225,000 of the referendum. At the present time most of the interior doors only unlock by key from outside the door, Lynch said. The new locks would allow for push-button locking from inside the rooms.
Also slated in this capital project is the construction of an 1,400 square foot storage building at the athletic complex for securing district owned equipment. That project represents $70,000 of the total.
The other projects included are the roofs at Lanigan and Granby elementary schools which are more than 20 years old. The oldest portions of each roof would be replaced if voters approve the expenditures. At a cost of $1.5 million at Lanigan and $1.9 million at Granby, the newly constructed roofs are expected to last another 20 years, according to the King and King architect on hand to answer questions.
One member of the audience asked the superintendent if there was a new rock-climbing wall included as part of this vote. Lynch explained that while the athletic department might be considering such a piece of equipment as the overall district athletic plan, it is not part of this capital project.
Questions about using a wood floor for the gym were also addressed. Lynch said that possibility was discussed but engineering the new floor height that would be required added significant cost to the project, so it was decided to replace the flooring with similar materials.
The public referendum will be held Feb. 4, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and voting will take place at each of the district’s four elementary schools.
If voters approve the projects, it is expected construction on the gym floor, lock replacements and the storage building would be completed this summer and the roofing projects would be slated for next summer.