Facilities problems outlined

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Beloit School District Manager of Buildings and Grounds Jeff Jacobson gave a facilities update at Tuesday evening's board meeting, detailing the district's most pressing needs.

There are 1,166,918-square-feet of educational facilities in the district located on 156.6 acres. Issues of grave concern are roofing systems, boilers, windows and doors, the necessity for asbestos removal, kitchen renovations, parking lots, Americans with Disability Act requirements and much-needed classroom light retrofits.

There are six elementary buildings with one aging boiler: Converse (1953); Hackett (1989), McLenegan (1999); Merrill (1966); Robinson (1955); and Royce (1958). There are two buildings with insufficient heating - Morgan Elementary School and Kolak Education Center.

"Efficiencies are running at a percentage of what they are designed to do," he said.

There are also concerns of proper ventilation and air conditioning to protect computer labs.

Roofing systems were evaluated in 2007 by Facility Engineering Inc. with recommendations for $4.1 million in work through 2012.

"We are at the end of the life on many of these roofing systems," he said.

Districtwide average roofing age is 18 years. Roofing upgrades have been identified at Cunningham Elementary, Royce Elementary, Wright Elementary, Kolak Education Center and Aldrich Middle School.

Elementary inspections in 2008 recommended tuck pointing repairs at all locations. Brick fractures and mortar joint failures are occurring because of building settlement and thermal expansions and contractions. Problems have been identified at Converse, Hackett, Merrill, Morgan, Todd and Aldrich schools.

There is also a need for exit door replacements. Many doors have worn hinges, defective locks and compromised security. A number of windows also need replacement in order to prevent moisture damage, and to keep out insects. Most severe needs have been identified at Beloit Memorial High School and Hackett.

Asbestos containing building material has also been found and is being covered with low quality carpet. Although the current state of asbestos containing building material is not a danger to students and staff, classroom carpet in many areas is poor and needs to be replaced.

The Rock County Health Department has cited 71 violations at the elementary buildings' kitchens. Improved floor plans would be able to remedy the code violations and address future space needs.

There is also need for asphalt and sidewalk replacements in parking lots, playgrounds, tennis courts, student drop-off areas and public sidewalks. Parking lots at Cunningham, McLenegan, Kolak Education Center have the most severe needs.

Playgrounds are in poor condition at nine locations. Some of the locations include McLenegan, Cunningham, Gaston, Robinson and Merrill. Several accident reports have been filed due to injuries sustained on the asphalt playgrounds from holes and uneven surfaces. Some principals will not allow children to run and play on the blacktop due to the increase in danger.

District sidewalks have approximately 635 cracked/missing or deteriorated blocks and 12,700-square-feet of concrete repairs are needed.

There are also Americans with Disabilities recommendations, and elevator upgrades needed at the following locations: Burdge, Gaston, Merrill, McNeel, Beloit Memorial High School and Kolak Education Center. Upgrades would cost about $50,000 per elevator.

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