GREENVILLE — A local elementary school will receive additional renovations through an upcoming project.
New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp. board of trustees voted Monday to approve a $600,000 project to upgrade the gymnasium and furniture at Greenville Elementary School. The board voted 4-3, with members Lee Ann Wiseheart, Donna Corbett and Rebecca Gardenour voting against. The project will use the remaining money from the $87 million referendum that was passed by voters in 2016, which paid for renovations and new construction work at facilities across the district.
The project follows $4 million in renovations at Greenville Elementary in 2019, including the addition of five new classrooms, an expanded cafeteria, upgraded flooring and improvements to existing classrooms. Of the nine projects covered by the referendum, Greenville Elementary is the last to be completed, and this will allow the corporation to spend all of the money, according to superintendent Brad Snyder.
The “secondary scope” construction project will include new furniture across the building, new bleachers, an upgrade gymnasium floor, new heating/cooling units and other equipment, according to Snyder.
Each project in the referendum had a “primary” and “secondary” scope, and the school corporation worked to accommodate the secondary plans to the degree it was able to, he said. Unlike other projects that involved change orders in contracts for secondary items, the administration will have to “self-fulfill” the Greenville Elementary project.
“What we’re trying to do is increase the scope at Greenville,” Snyder said.
A few board members expressed concerns that local schools are in need of chiller machines, saying they should be prioritized over the upgrade of furniture at Greenville Elementary. Gardenour said she would prefer to wait until the referendum projects are completed to proceed with the upgrades to Greenville’s furniture and gymnasium.
“Just because it’s the last gym that has wood bleachers is not justifiable to me when I know that we have chillers that need to be replaced, some of which were supposed to be replaced a few years ago,” Gardenour said.
Elaine Murphy, the school board president, expressed concerns about safety and maintenance of the bleachers in the gymnasium, and she approved moving forward with the project.
“It surprises me that we still have wooden bleachers when you think about the facilities that we have — just the maintenance of wood and the safety factor behind old wooden bleachers is a concern, and when you’re around a bunch of elementary kids, furniture wears out, and it wears out quickly,” she said. “We’re going to have five new classrooms with brand-new furniture, and the other students deserve new furniture as well.”
Snyder said he is excited to move forward with the project at Greenville Elementary.
“Greenville is very deserving, and it’s a great project,” he said. “We’re thrilled to be in the position to have some extra resources to do it.”