Fulton School Board Discusses Next Building Project Tonight

The Fulton school district is making the transition from one construction project to another.  Tonight, the Board of Education will hear about plans for starting the new project while looking back at some problems with the last project.

The district is just wrapping up a $23 million project approved by voters in 2007 that saw, among other things, the reconfiguration of the entrance of the high school, the installation of a turf field at the athletic complex, the elimination of the former open classrooms at Lanigan Elementary, and significant work at every district building.

(You can see a full list of the proposed work items in this pdf, but note that some items were eliminated from the project afterwards to keep the project within its budget.)

Now, the district is moving on to the bulk of the work approved by voters in 2009.

The 2009 project is much smaller — just under $4 million.  It was intended to take advantage of the last of the state’s EXCEL funds, which covered nearly all of the local cost of construction projects.  The project is aimed at tackling those issues that had to be dropped from the 2007 project because of costs.

They include installing new boilers at the high school, security improvements, roofing for the junior high and Fairgrieve Elementary school, and technology infrastructure.

Board of Education President Robbin Griffin said that the meeting is intended to catch the board up on the plans for carrying out the construction project.

“We definitely had some issues that we were concerned about” with the 2007 project, she said.  The largest surprise was the discovery of asbestos beneath the football field, which delayed the installation of a turf field and forced the football and track teams to play their entire seasons on the road.

Asbestos was found elsewhere throughout the project — it was commonly used to insulate pipes and in floor and wall tiles until asbestos was found to pose a risk to health.

The state’s rules for removing asbestos make removal very expensive, one of the reasons why some pieces of the 2007 project were removed.