Roof repair recommended

Friday, September 21, 2012

By Clint Confehr

Senior Staff Writer

Marshall County's school maintenance crew should repair the roofs they can with resources they've got now and look to county commissioners for more money in next year's budget.

That's the recommendation from the school board's maintenance committee. The panel met Tuesday at the central office where discussion showed roofs over Westhills Elementary and Lewisburg Middle School would be repaired first.

Schools Director Jackie Abernathy is to budget money for Marshall Elementary School's roof repair as permitted by county commissioners after fiscal year 2012-13 starts.

Some school roofs have a white membrane that's suffered over time and from hail, Maintenance Director Sheldon Davis reported.

"We've patched and patched," Davis said, indicating Marshall County won't be alone if it decides to replace roofs.

Cost estimates for the work don't exceed $200,000.

"It wouldn't be as much if we'd taken care of it all along," Davis said.

Committee members also recommended pay rates and hiring of summer help at schools and the central office.

Seasonal employees are hired to help year-round staffers move furniture and perform other work as buildings are prepared for classes next fall.

School board member Barbara Kennedy asked about the number of seasonal employees and why year-round staffers needed so much help. She was told some employees can't move furniture.

Mowing grass at schools, and especially at playing fields, was also discussed.

Again, the committee recommended steps to finish the fiscal year ending June 30, and leaders indicated changes could be made on who mows grass during the fiscal year starting July 1. Like other counties, Marshall County's coaches mow grass. Frequently it's part of a coach's stipend.

Paying for maintenance from money budgeted to pay teachers, instead of from a maintenance part of the budget, seemed inappropriate, Kennedy observed.

"This has been done for 100 years," Abernathy commented. "That doesn't make it right."