By Pam Millican
EDGEWOOD—The Edgewood ISD board members received the results of a recent facilities assessment during their board meeting Monday night.
Kevin Smith, Richard Crump and Dixie Paris with Claycomb Architects gave a thorough presentation of the Edgewood facilities. This was Phase 1 or discovery phase of the project.
They noted that the elementary building is 45 years old and the intermediate school is 27 years old, and all of the buildings are in need of updating to bring them into compliance with state regulations.
All facilities need to be brought up to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance including; parking, ramps, handrails and drinking fountains.
The gymnasiums need handicap accessible seating as well as the locker rooms need to be updated with restrooms, lockers and showers. All the exterior doors throughout the campus need new ADA access hardware.
The assessment also found that most existing HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) units are inefficient, damaged and at the end of their life span. The units aren’t allowing enough fresh air into the buildings.
There are possible code violations with the electrical system including not enough clearance around outlets and the exterior outlets aren’t weatherproof. The light fixtures are outdated and also inefficient.
Regarding fire safety, the audit found that the facilities should be equipped with sprinklers or smoke detectors. The doors in all the facilities are not fire rated material.
According to the Texas Administration Code, which details the amount of square feet per student each space should contain, the media center and classrooms in the intermediate school are undersized. Several other spaces throughout the campus are borderline. The nurse’s office also is in need of additional space according to the report.
Asbestos needs to be abated in the older buildings. The asbestos appears to primarily be located in the wall material. Site drainage is a major problem throughout the campus.
There is erosion between the high school and tennis courts along with the south side of the stadium. The drainage problems could be contributing to additional foundation problems with the structures.
The next step will be for Claycomb to meet with the district’s superintendent after the first of the year to determine the priority list and determine whether the problems can be corrected via remodeling or if new construction would be the best option. The maintenance team will start working immediately on the items they can address.
The board will determine the short and long term goals in regards to the facilities. The facility upgrades will be planned around the school year. The HVAC system will be updated during the winter and the asbestos will be abated during the summer while the students are on break.
Also, Lisa Short, head of the ISD Instructional Technology, also gave a presentation at the board meeting.
The technology division received a $50,000 grant in which they purchased laptops, iPads and wireless cards for student and teacher use. The computers are stored in carts called Computer on Wheels which charges all the units at one time. The computers and wireless cards assist students with the online component of their textbooks.
In other news, the campus currently has 888 students enrolled with 96 percent attendance. The schools are experiencing a lot of absenteeism in students and teachers due to the flu.
The board also voted to endorse a letter the Van Zandt county school superintendents wrote to Representative Dan Flynn on various school issues including funding and teacher retirement.
Edgewood ISD Receives Facilities Assessment
By Pam Millican