The Ardmore City Schools Board of Education received various updates on ongoing construction projects during the regular monthly meeting on Tuesday.
ACS director of operations Chris Kennedy and Trigon representative Steven Ryan both presented the board with information regarding the progress of the projects, particularly issues that caused the delay of school at Will Rogers Elementary and Lincoln Elementary last week. Kennedy reported that several air conditioning units were down this week, with most of the units being fixed and ready for school. The air conditioning issues were attributed to geothermal problems as well as many of the units being off during the summer months. Kennedy said the majority of the unit issues were at the high school.
One of the highlights of the construction progress, as mentioned by Kennedy to the board, is the completed floor at the Will Rogers Cafeteria. Kennedy said the final waxing of the flooring was completed on Saturday and the “three pattern” design of the floor is complete and ready for students.
“It is unbelievable how good it looks,” Kennedy said of the floor. “The patterns are smart with all the things they can do with it.”
Kennedy said the sprinkler system at Will Rogers Elementary is ready to go after system wide tests. Kennedy said the final scheduled test will be Monday. Kennedy said the fire alarm system passed tests with the fire marshal, making it ready for the school’s opening on Aug. 22.
Ryan addressed an issue with lighting in the Lincoln Elementary gymnasium as the school has run into some issues with the amount lighting. Ryan said he doesn’t believe the gym has “even light distribution,” though he did clarify he feels the gymnasium is safe. He said contractors are currently working to fix the lighting issue.
Ryan said the furniture still needs to be finished in Lincoln, the parking lot still needs to be completed and landscaping still needs to be completed on the campus. Ryan estimated Lincoln will be an “active project” until the end of September.
“It’s a new 63,000 square foot building, there’s going to be some issues,” Ryan said. “We’ve addressed as many of them as we find and that come up so far.”
ACS Board member Steve Oliver asked Ryan about the “soft spot” situation at Lincoln Elementary, which was one of the causes for the delay of school. The soft spot was discovered last week where the south Lincoln parking lot will be located. Ryan said the issue is resolved “as far as the school district’s end” and explained that the city of Ardmore has taken responsibility for a resolution and will do the construction that is necessary.
“The city took full responsibility to take that on themselves and they’re executing that plan,” Ryan said.
Ryan also addressed questions regarding the Will Rogers Elementary sprinkler system, explaining the school has one more test with the state fire marshal on Monday and the system has passed all of the local requirements. He went on to say that because the sprinkler systems were not in place last year they’re considered an “improvement in progress” and are not required in order to start school. Ryan said the sprinklers were only a requirement for the new buildings, not the old buildings. When the construction projects began, however, ACS and the design team made a decision to put sprinklers into the older buildings as well in order to ensure the most safety for all schools.
Ryan said that with the progress this week both Will Rogers and Lincoln will be ready to open on Aug. 22.
“What I have control of yes,” he said when asked if the schools will be ready by the 22nd. “I don’t see any reason why they won’t be.”