Morenci school maintenance projects to begin soon 7.30

By DAVID GREEN

Bids are scheduled for approval next week for maintenance projects at Morenci’s high school and elementary school buildings.

All the projects are expected to begin this summer, said superintendent of schools  Kyle Griffith, with the exception of flooring replacement in certain elementary school classrooms. That work will have to wait until the next school year ends due to a lack of time.

Griffith initially thought that some projects would be underway by now, but the process has taken more time than expected and he’s not about to rush into the process.

“We are fortunate that the bond passed and we will proceed carefully with the use of these funds,” he said. “We would rather have a few delays along the way in order to make suer everyone is on the same page.”

After voters approved the bond, several behind-the-scenes efforts got underway.

“There are a lot of steps to be taken before a project of this nature can begin,” Griffith said.

The school board first sought authorization to issue bonds for $1.4 million and then put the bonds out for sale. When that was accomplished, bids were let for the various projects at the 50-year-old elementary school and the 40-year-old high school.

Work at the elementary school includes upgrading the waterline, replacing corroded exterior doors and plumbing fixtures, repairing the roof, replacing windows in the gymnasium and repairing the parking lot.

After the gymnasium floor is replaced this summer, classroom materials will be stored in the gym the following summer when work gets underway in those locations.

At the high school, exterior doors and shower fixtures will be replaced, bleachers will be repaired and the alternative education/wrestling facility will be completed—a building approved by voters in the middle school construction bond.

Several technology upgrades are also included in the project, along with the replacement of the running track.

Rather than seek new tax money for the maintenance projects, board of education members asked voters to keep the existing millage rate from the middle school project in place for five years.

The millage rate was scheduled to begin shrinking in the next year due to refinancing of the bond in 2003.

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