Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

September 18, 2013

School board discusses ECHS fire

By Joe Lewis - Staff Writer
Journal-Times

Sept. 18, 2013 — The Carter County Board of Education met Monday night and spent much of its time on Friday's fire at East Carter High School's football field and ongoing construction projects.

ECHS Head Football Coach Zack Moore expressed his concerns about the concession stand fire that occurred during the game with Bath County.

Moore presented an email to the board which he said he sent to Jim Webb, the district’s maintenance director, in March 2012 with several concerns about the condition of the school's facilities.

“The email outlines several issues that I perceived, and still do, to have a negative impact on our football student-athletes. The electrical work in the concessions was listed as an issue,” said Moore.

Moore also stated that turning on the stadium lights currently inflicts an electrical shock on the individual flipping the switch.

“It's an issue that reflects negatively on our school and our school system. This needs to be fixed,” said Moore.

New facilities director David Jessie said the electrical meter base had encountered so much friction rubbing against adjacent metal that the internal wires had become exposed, causing the explosion and subsequent fire.

Jessie stated that the faulty equipment had been removed and replaced with a new meter.

The board then discussed a change order for Carter City Elementary which will cost an additional $28,000.

The order is being enforced by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet because of water drainage issues at both of the school's highway entrances.

Board members Bryan Greenhill and Randy Steagall expressed frustration with incurring extra expenses and that the changes are being mandated by the state.

“Other school districts don't have $28,000 to spend but the state seems to think that we do,” said Greenhill.

“If we spend this money, what's to stop the state from coming back and changing things again that end up costing us even more money?” said Stegall.

Feeling they had no choice but to comply, the board reluctantly approved the change order to correct the drainage problems.

In other business, it was reported that gym floor and bleacher renovations at both high schools are nearly complete.

The gyms could be available for full use as early as Oct. 4 and no later than Oct. 15, as specified in the renovation agreement.

Plans for renovation of the roof at Star Elementary are underway.

The district plans to purchase four new buses to replace aging vehicles in its fleet next year.

The school board meets again on Sept. 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the central office for a special budget meeting and work session.

Joe Lewis can be reached at jlewis@journal-times.com or by telephone at 286-4201.