In a specially called meeting held Tuesday to expedite the renovation project, the Unicoi County Board of Education approved a $1,167,400 bid for improvements, including a new roof, new heating and air conditioning system, a new gym floor, new electric systems and wiring and more.
Director of Schools John English told board members the plans call for the contractor, Preston Construction, to begin work on the first day of the summer recess and to complete the renovations by start of the new school year in early August.
To meet that time table and avoid a possible delay that could occur in the lapse between the time materials are ordered and the time they are delivered, English said it was necessary for the board to approve a bid as soon as possible and not wait until its next scheduled meeting in mid-April.
“They feel comfortable they can complete it on time but they will be there all summer,” English said.
English said the updates will ensure the 60-year-old school building remains viable for at least another decade.
Bill Brady, manager of the school system’s buildings and grounds, said the renovations will put Temple Hill’s infrastructure ahead of any other school in the system.
In addition to a new rubber roof, new guttering and downspouts, new heat and air conditioning, and a new three-phase electric system and wiring with “ethernet” capacity for computer networking, the renovations will include an a protective vapor-lock lining and new concrete beneath new flooring in the school’s gymnasium, a new handicap accessible restroom, a chairlift for handicap access to the school’s stage and a new fire alarm system.
“These renovations are vital to that school and to that school’s future,” English said.
The updates will be paid for with about $500,000 set aside from the school system’s sale of the former Love Chapel School and additional funds already in the schools budget.
“It will require some budget amendment to move the funds at your April 14 meeting, but we have the money,” English said.
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