Cal Doty

Cal Doty asks a question about the proposed replacement of Hal Hearnd Elementary School’s gymnasium floor during Tuesday’s Greeneville Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting. The board voted to contribute up to $50,500 to the floor replacement.

The Greeneville Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday committed funds toward the replacement of the gymnasium floor at Hal Henard Elementary School.

The board voted to provided up to $50,500 to the Greeneville City Schools for new flooring in the Hal Henard School gym.

In January, the school system had approached the board requesting the town partner with it and private donors to contribute a portion of the cost of the project for the gym, which is used for a variety of purposes for the school system and community.

Director of Schools Steve Starnes shared photos of some of the deterioration of the current floor with the board during Tuesday’s meeting. The photos illustrated seams that are cracking and being covered by tape, areas where adhesive is coming loose from the floor and coaches trying to cover a seam crack during a basketball game. Greeneville High School boys and girls teams play their home varsity games in the gym.

“The life span of the floor is 20 years and were at 22 years,” he said. “This is the second surface for the floor since it was built.”

The school was constructed in the 1980s.

Alderman Cal Doty asked why the school system had not asked for funds for the replacement when the current budget was being prepared last summer, since it was known that the floor needed to be replaced.

Starnes replied that the floor replacement was a concern for the system, but the district was still in the process of evaluating what would be the best option for replacement of the floor last summer and was not ready to seek funding.

In addition, a private group of donors also approached the school system with interest in contributing to the replacement, he said.

The private donors have committed to provide $50,500 for the project. In the last report from that group, they indicated that they currently have $25,000 in hand for the project with plans for efforts to collect the remainder, Starnes said.

Doty then asked about how the school system prepares for budgeting for its capital needs.

Starnes responded that the system maintains a list of capital needs it foresees in the coming year. The system’s capital budget was recently increased to about $300,000 each year by the Greeneville Board of Education, he said, and the city has also increased its annual allocation by $120,000 to address capital needs, he said.

Capital improvement projects in this year’s budget include replacement of the roof over the cafeteria area of Greeneville High as well as replacement of HVAC units at a few schools.

Prior to approving the funding, the board discussed whether to take the funds from this year’s budget or from next year’s budget, but decided to take it from unassigned fund balance in the current year’s budget.

Starnes said the school board will consider the project at its meeting next week. The school system has put the remaining $82,100 needed for the floor replacement in its current year budget. The estimated cost of the project totals $183,091.

In addition to the installation of new hardwood flooring, the project will include replacement of fire sprinklers inside the gym, replacement of two sets of fire doors leading to the hospitality area and purchase of a cover to protect the wood floor during events such a graduation.

With the approval by the school board, Starnes said the school system could then begin contacting contractors and vendors and hopefully get the work scheduled for completion during the summer.