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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

Maintenance workers ready schools for fall

Wednesday, July 2, 2003

Rickie Kelly of Richard Hampton Painting and Drywall touches up a wall at the Sikeston Public Schools alternative school
(Photo by Leonna Essner, Staff)
SIKESTON -- When school begins in August, many area students will pile into freshly cleaned, renovated and painted school buildings -- thanks to the efforts of their schools' maintenance workers this summer.

For the past four or five weeks, workers were busy painting and renovating drywall at the Sikeston Public Schools alternative school in the Bailey facility, noted Terry Bryant, maintenance supervisor of Sikeston Public Schools. Bryant called the renovation the district's "largest project this summer."

"Right now workers are busy pouring concrete pads for four modular classrooms to sit on. They're also building an additional parking lot, concrete curb cuts for loading and unloading buses and security lighting around the ball field," Bryant explained Monday. "An additional teachers' work area/lounge is also being built within the facility," he added.

While the bulk of the Sikeston maintenance crew's work this summer is at the Bailey facility, Bryant said other routine maintenance projects such as cleaning the schools and their furniture and floors, replacing lights and getting air-conditioning filters put in are also being done this summer.

"We begin working on projects from the first day school lets out of the regular session, and continue until the first day of school begins for the following school year. It usually takes right up until school starts before our projects are finished," Bryant said.

Five full-time maintenance employees and about five summer part-time workers make up the crew who keeps things running for the district, Bryant said.

Sikeston Public Schools Superintendent Steve Borgsmiller said maintenance is making the alternative school at the Bailey facility more user-friendly.

"We've been doing some minor facelifts," Borgsmiller said. "Throughout the school year, the building got a new roof and we fixed the gutter system."

Over at Charleston R-1 Schools, just normal, summer upkeep is taking place, said Martha Moody, secretary of the superintendent and Charleston Board of Education office.

"We did a large amount of renovating last year. This year we're just doing some and getting some carpeting. It's mostly routine," Moody said.

Charleston received a $400,000-plus grant last year and remodeled almost every building, except for the newly built middle school, Moody said. Fencing was even put around the kindergarten, she added.

Officials at Kelly School District noted they're not making any renovations or doing any construction this summer -- just the regular summer cleaning.

Scott Downing, superintendent of East Prairie R-2 Schools, also said there aren't many projects taking place at the district this summer due to financial woes.

"We did replace some windows," Downing said, "but right now, we're too scared to spend our money."