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WCS To Request $201,000 of NC Lottery Funds To Be Used For Summer Repairs at Valle Crucis Elementary

By Jesse Wood

March 18, 2013. Ly Marze, finance director with Watauga County Schools, will request funds from the N.C. Education Lottery Fund for crawlspace repairs to Valle Crucis Elementary School at Tuesday’s Watauga County Board of Commissioners meeting.

School staff is requesting the funds now to be able to begin work as soon as school lets out in the summer.

Dennis Ray, director of maintenance at WCS, estimates that the repairs with architecture and construction management fees will cost $201,000. These repairs will address temporary fixes that were done last year.

In an update to the Watauga County Board of Education in February, Ray wrote that “while inspecting the basement [in 2012] we noticed deterioration of some of the support beams in the foundation.”

So two classrooms were closed due to structural issues, and the staff completed a “temporary plan” at the end of August and an engineer approved of the two classes being reopened.

But now a permanent solution is needed.

Ray noted that the “first course of action” is to continue repairs that began last summer on replacing the rotting timbers with new timbers. This work would cost $97,415.

He also mentioned that when the structure settled, the roof deck sustained minor damage that would need to be repaired, and shingles need to be replaced. This, he estimates, will cost $85,000.

All in all with the engineering and construction management costs, the project will cost $201,000.

“This project needs to be expedited so that work can begin as soon as the school year is complete to ensure we have time to complete the project prior to the start of the 2013-14 school year,” Dennis noted in his update to the school board. 

These costs come on top of $35,000 that was spent last year to renovate and dry in the basement, according to information provided at the annual Watauga County Board of Commissioners retreat a few weeks ago. 

Repairs to the Valle Crucis Elementary School crawlspace are the first priority listed in the WCS Capital Improvement 10-Year Plan for 2013 to 2023.

Other projects prioritized for the upcoming school year include:

All Schools:

  • Install camera and buzzer system to main entrance of all schools – $68,000.
  • Install card reader locks on three entrances per school – $21,700

Mabel and Cove Creek:

  • Install energy efficient T-8 fluorescent bulbs through the schools. Current T-12s are being phased out starting in 2016 – $30,000

Blowing Rock:

  • Install new drop ceiling in two classrooms to provide better acoustics and appearance – $10,000
  • Renovate existing entrance to enhance security – $10,000