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Lexington Three Board of Trustees votes to take next step in recommended school improvement plans

January 11, 2018

Batesburg/Leesville, SC - The continued improvement, safety and efficiency of B-L schools remain a top priority for the Lexington School District Three Board of Trustees.  At the Board’s regular meeting on January 9th, members unanimously voted to enter into a contract with Jumper Carter Sease Architects.  

 

Last month, at the Board’s December 12th meeting, Jumper Carter Sease Architects was one of three firms that presented to members during executive session.  Following the firms’ presentations, a motion was authorized for Lexington Three Superintendent Dr. Randall Gary to enter into contract negotiations with Jumper Carter Sease Architects. That contract received a 6-0 approval vote by Board of Trustees members on January 9th.

 

This move will allow Board members to continue to explore the possibility of and receive information on the design and costs associated with building a new B-L High School and with making additional improvements on the current B-L Primary School facility.  These and other needs were outlined in 2016 when the district commissioned a study of all its buildings.  The needs assessment was conducted by retired architect Don Altman who served as a consultant for Thompson Turner Construction Company.

 

Mr. Altman and his team examined the district’s facilities and their systems.  During the November 2016 Board of Trustees meeting, Mr. Altman shared a detailed report with the Board on each of the district’s facilities and gave the Board his recommendations on issues that needed to be addressed as soon as funding became available. Listed below are some of the observations and recommendations made by Mr. Altman for the existing B-L High School and B-L Primary School facilities.

 

Batesburg-Leesville High School – The main building was constructed in 1975. The career education building was constructed in 1976. The gymnasium and football stadium were constructed in 1976. The band and music building was constructed in 1977, and the academic and guidance wing was constructed in 2002.

Observations –

  • Original HVAC systems remain in use for much of the campus.

  • Interior lighting is fluorescent with T8 or T12 lamps.

  • Student restrooms and drinking fountains are in need of upgrades.

  • All casework and shelving is original equipment.

  • Corridor lockers are original.

  • Door hardware and doors are original equipment.

  • Flooring is mostly carpet in corridors and classrooms.

  • Walls between classrooms stop above ceilings and are not insulated.

  • Cafeteria was renovated in 2007.

  • Original roofing system was replaced with a foam type system.

Needed Improvements –

  • Replace roofing and roof insulation system

  • Replace HVAC system

  • Upgrade all plumbing fixtures

  • Install approved automatic sprinkler system

  • Install new LED lighting system

  • Install new acoustical tile ceiling system

  • Upgrade power for technology

  • Upgrade existing restrooms to accessibility standards

  • Upgrade doors, hardware and windows

  • Upgrade interior finishes

  • Install new lab and classroom casework

  • Add new faculty and visitor parking

  • Upgrade stadium to include a new entrance, ticket booths, restrooms and concessions

  • Secure the front entrance

Batesburg-Leesville Primary School – The original building construction was completed in 1984. Two classroom additions were constructed in 1986. Four classroom additions were constructed in 1991, and the kindergarten wing was constructed in 2001.

Site Concerns –

  • Inadequate faculty, staff and visitor parking

  • Inadequate stacking space for parent pick up/drop off

  • Site circulation: conflicts with buses, cars and service vehicles

  • No dedicated loop road for fire truck access to the site

  • Need for additional playground access and playfields

Observations –

  • Original HVAC systems remain in use for much of the campus.

  • Interior lighting is fluorescent with T8 or T12 lamps.

  • Door hardware and doors are original equipment.

  • Power for technology is insufficient.

  • Restrooms need to be upgraded.

  • Administration is located on lower level away from school entrance.

  • Media center is open to corridors.

  • Original roofing system is still in place.

  • Special education classrooms lack restroom, shower and dressing facilities.

 

Needed Improvements –

  • Replace roofing and roof insulation system

  • Replace HVAC system

  • Upgrade all plumbing fixtures

  • Install new LED lighting system

  • Install new acoustical tile ceiling system

  • Upgrade power for technology

  • Enclose Media Center

  • Upgrade existing restrooms and add new public, faculty and student restrooms

  • Upgrade doors, hardware and windows

  • Add new faculty and visitor parking

  • Separate bus, car and service vehicles

  • Add additional stacking lanes for pick up and drop off

  • Add new playgrounds and playfields

  • Consider second entrance to site for bus and service functions

  • Relocate administrative offices to the main level

Since the facility study was conducted, several of the improvements recommended by Mr. Altman were addressed and paid for through general obligation bonds issued by the Board of Trustees’ 8% borrowing debt capacity. During the February 14, 2017 meeting of the Lexington County School District Three Board of Trustees, the Board approved a resolution approving the issuance of this general obligation bond through the South Carolina Association of Governmental Organizations (SCAGO) GO Program in the amount of $1.6 million.

 

Renovations paid for with this money thus far include new, secure entrances at B-L Primary, B-L Elementary and B-L Middle Schools; a new five-foot fence around the playground area of B-L Elementary School; and the clearing of brush from the front of B-L Primary School in order to make the campus more visible. In addition, the district is currently putting into place enhanced software and hardware at B-L Elementary and B-L Middle Schools that will provide door card readers for staff and camera monitoring systems, therefore enhancing security on those campuses.  Administrators aim to have this project completed during the Spring 2018 semester.

 

No modifications have been made to B-L High School because the scope of the upgrades and improvements needed at the school is cost prohibitive.

 

 

 

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