|The slide at the Peterson Elementary playground is empty. But during the school year, children can be seen sliding down it continually. The playground equipment will be one of the things that will be taken off the Peterson grounds and placed at the new school that is going to be built where East Carbon High currently stands. According to district officials, playground equipment has become very expensive and using what they have rather than purchasing new will save considerable money.|
The East Carbon-Sunnyside area is well on its way to having a new elementary school building, based on a vote of the Carbon Board of Education last Wednesday.
The board considered two bids that had been submitted by contractors for the demolition of the old East Carbon High School and construction of a new elementary building.
In the end, the contractor chosen by the board members was Westland Construction Company, with a total bid of $4,421,050.
"Westland is a good company to work with," said Deon Kone, director of maintenance for the school district. "They worked with us on the Helper Junior High remodel and did a remarkable job in a very short period of time."
According to Kone and school district documents, Westland is not only a good contractor, but the company also came in with the lowest bid by one-half of a million dollars.
The other bid for the project was from Hughs Construction Company for $4,905,900.
One contractor showed up 10 minutes late for the bid opening at the June 21 board of education meeting.
According to state law, Kone indicated that he had to return the bid to the company and eliminate the contractor from contention.
The base cost of the elementary school building was bid at $4,056,000.
However, there were a lot of options that the district considered adding to school that Kone said will make the building more user friendly and much more maintenance free.
For instance, Mondo flooring will be used in the school. Mondo not only cuts down on floor maintenance, but is also much cleaner for a school environment than carpet.
"In the 1970s, schools went through this thing of putting carpet everywhere," pointed out Kone. "Problem is that, once something is spilled on it, it stays there no matter how well it is cleaned. It can never be completely clean or bacteria free."
In many cases, older schools that had vinyl asbestos tile originally installed had carpet laid over the tile.
That trend took place from the late 1960s through the 1990s. Some school districts still like to carpet many of their facilities.
Carpeting in schools became common place after the late 1960s.
In the late 1980s, it was estimated that carpet installed in remodeled and new school buildings could cover an area that was 500 feet wide and stretch from the west coast of the United States to the east coast.
School districts at that time were carpeting almost everything from classrooms to locker rooms and cafeterias.
But the trend has changed as concerns about bacteria growth and cleanliness have increased.
In addition, some of the new hard flooring does not require the maintenance that the old vinyl asbestos, rubber, vinyl and many other hard surface floors required.
Finishing floors is becoming a thing of the past and with automatic scrubber machines in many buildings, labor on flooring has been reduced, while cleanliness has increased.
Another addition to the elementary school building will be a Siplast roof, which Kone says will last much longer than standard membrane type roofs.
"We haven't had one membrane roof that has lasted out it's warranty in this district," Kone told the board of education last Wednesday. "This type of roof will last as long as they say it will."
In the late 1960s, Siplast Research and Development developed SBS (styrene-butadiene-styrene) modified bitumens.
The company found that, by properly modifying asphalt with SBS, they could produce a highly durable material blend with the ability to stand the contraction and expansion of roofs caused by temperature extremes.
In fact, the company indicated that there are roofs on buildings today that were applied in the early years of the process that are still holding up.
Another extra in the elementary school building will be Kalwall windows. Kalwall windows will require less maintenance in high areas where cracks, holes and even cleaning can be a problem.
"These windows are designed to let a lot of light in, but they don't need to be cleaned," stated Kone. "In addition, if someone shoots a pellet at them, the hole can be fixed rather than having to replace the entire pane."
The contractors also bid on the demolition of the old high school, which each company said would cost $174,940.
The selected contractor will have the salvage rights to the building, with the exception of the boilers. The boilers at East Carbon High were sold to R & L Boiler of Salt Lake City for $450.
"That amount may seem small, but the real cost of the boilers is getting them out of the building," pointed out Kone. "The company that purchased them will be responsible for that."
As a sidelight issue at the June 21 meeting, the board discussed with Kone what could be used from the old Peterson Elementary School for the new building.
The main issue that came up was the playground equipment.
"Moving playground equipment has become a real problem because it is hard to find a contractor that will do it," said the school district maintenance director. "I can have my crew do it, but it takes a lot of time and they are being continually called away for emergencies in other places."
There was also some discussion by board members about the possibility of new playground equipment being purchased for the school.
But the board decided that cost for playground equipment was prohibitive, particularly based on the fact that the equipment at Peterson is in good shape.
"The cost of playground equipment has really escalated," said Kone. "Remember years ago when people were talking about $500 toilet seat for Air Force planes because they had to be rated for being in aircraft? Well it's the same kind of thing."
"Right now, we are looking at having to replace the slide on the playground at Creekview Elementary and that single piece of equipment will coast $15,000, not including installation costs," added the school district maintenance director.
The expanding price of playground devices has escalated in recent years because of new safety standards.
Many school districts are having to replace old, unsafe equipment because risk management advisers have told them that their playgrounds are unsafe.
Nationally, it is estimated that one in every 13 children will suffer some kind of injury on playgrounds at school each year.
The injuries range from a simple cut to fatal accidents.
School districts in Utah and across the nation are trying to bring the injury figures down. Safe playground equipment has been one of the ways in which the school districts are doing that.
As for a name for the new elementary school, the matter is still undecided.
At a recent East Carbon City Council meeting, Missy Hamilton indicated that what the school will be called is still up in the air. She said the school will probably have a contest to pick out a new name from community suggestions.
Hamilton will be the principal at Peterson Elementary this year and will become the principal a the new school next year.
"I have heard a couple of names already suggested, like Cedar Hills Elementary or Bruin Point Elementary," stated Hamilton. "It is an exciting time and we expect that a new name, and a new mascot as well, will bring a great feeling to the new school."
Construction on the building will begin as soon as the demolition of the old high school is completed.
But the demolition of the building will have to wait because there are some legal issues regarding the property that need to be solved first.
However, district officials indicated that the roadblocks should be out of the way by sometime in late July and then the work will begin.