Elkin requests topped by ADA issues, roofing needs

By Keith Strange kstrange@civitasmedia.com

March 17, 2014

ELKIN — Upgrades to Elkin High School to bring it into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and roofing needs top the capital improvement wish list for Elkin City Schools to the county’s board of commissioners.

In presenting its list of priorities, listed as a “first priority” are renovations to the school’s gymnasium that, as of an estimate in 2007, would cost around $1.5 million.

The improvements to bring the facility up to code include renovations to ADA code standards, elevators, restrooms and classroom accessibility from the gym.

But school officials note that not taking action could be much more costly than the requested improvements.

“At any time, a citizen could request access based on ADA standards for their child or family member,” Superintendent Randy Bledsoe wrote in the request. “If this were to occur, the citizen has the right to file a lawsuit based on these areas being un-accessible to handicapped students, staff and community members.”

Like the county and Mount Airy school systems’ requests, roofing improvements in the city’s schools are also an issue.

The system is requesting $592,075 to replace the roof on Elkin Elementary School, noting the existing roof is 22 years old.

“It has had numerous repairs and is currently leaking in many places,” Bledsoe notes. “We are planning on making emergency repairs just to make it through the winter.”

The Elkin district is also requesting $83,375 to renovate the roof of the school administration building, noting that the upper section of the building still has the same roof as when purchased in 1995.

The district is requesting $25,042 to replace the metal roof on the Elkin High School baseball grandstand canopy.

In requested school security improvements, the district is requesting $103,600 for keyless access on exterior doors across the system, noting that with the improvements, one push of a button could lock down a school instantly. Elkin Elementary School has 24 exterior doors, while the high school and middle school each have 37 exterior doors.

The district is requesting $7,245 for a camera security system that would “increase our exterior security camera coverage to 100 percent at all three campuses plus add cameras/digital accessibility to our school buses.”

The district’s final security request is for $37,000 to $42,000 for an additional school resource officer. Elkin City Schools currently uses one officer that is shared by all three schools in the city.

Keith Strange can be reached at 336-719-1929 or via Twitter @strangereporter.