County BOE adopts resolution to support cafeteria floor repair at ECHS

Published 2:25 pm Friday, February 2, 2024

The Escambia County (Ala.) Board of Education Feb. 2 declared at state of emergency for Escambia County High School after sub-freezing temperatures in January caused the floors in the cafeteria to buckle.

The board adopted the measure – 2024-1 – during a special-called meeting at the Atmore Central Office.

Schools were closed due to the inclement cold weather that passed through the area on Jan. 16.

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Interim Superintendent Dr. Michele Collier said the temperatures caused some struggles for the floors in the cafeteria.

Deputy of Operations and Facilities Shaun Goolsby said the floors have been an ongoing problem since before the new board administration took place.

“What we’re seeing when part of the dining room was added, there was no spacing joints put in the concrete,” Goolsby said. “There is nowhere for anything to go, to expand or contract. We had already planned on doing this kind of work during the summer. Being it a tripping hazard, we decided we needed to go ahead and get this fixed.”

Goolsby added that the floor has been temporarily fixed with thinset to take care of the tripping hazard.

Ward Scott Morris Architecture Principal Architect Jordan Morris said because a state of emergency was declared, the process of getting the floors complete is expedited.

“The bid process and contract procurement, this allows us to do that quicker,” Morris said. “This buys us about a month of time.”

Goolsby was asked whether the cost of the cafeteria floor being done could be covered on insurance. He said he’s waiting to hear back from the state regarding the use of insurance.

“This is just not one spot that’s a problem,” he said. “It’s the whole floor.”

Goolsby said it’s going to cost between $168,000-$180,000 to put new flooring down on the 7,500-square foot space.

The cafeteria itself will have vinyl flooring once complete, and with proper maintenance, should last the school some 25 years, Goolsby said.

Board members asked when the work will be completed, and Goolsby said they’re shooting for spring break. Additional time needed to complete the project will be addressed by officials for student access to the cafeteria.

In other business, the board:

  • approved the purchase of furniture for portable buildings at Flomaton Elementary School from Interior Elements LLC for $71,635.77 to be paid out of ESSER 3 funds. The project will come at no cost to the school system, Goolsby said; and,
  • approved a LEA School Make-Up Day option request in accordance with Act 2011-235. Teachers will report to work for a teacher work day on Tues., Feb. 20, 2024, to make up the Jan. 16 inclement weather day.

Additional topics of discussion by the board included metal detectors for the schools.

Goolsby said 34 detectors have been ordered, and they are 10 days out from being delivered. He added they are portable and can be moved to accommodate entry ports at school buildings and stadiums. Each detector will come with a hand-held wand.