The Eads School Board met on Sept. 5 in a special meeting with the top issue being the ongoing dilemma with the gymnasium floor that buckled and warped just days before the start of school in August and is now off limits to the school’s middle school and high school volleyball teams as well as district PE classes. The volleyball teams are scheduled to be on the road during the entire duration of the 2023 season and are currently practicing in the small elementary gymnasium.
The district administration gave some brief reports to the board prior to getting down to business with a number of action items.
Athletic Director (AD) Trey Eder reported that he had finally been able to finalize the multitude of schedule changes for the fall sports season, involving both the middle school and high school levels, due to the problem with the gymnasium. A couple of pieces of information included the fact that during Homecoming the volleyball games will be at the Plainview School gymnasium and the football game on the Eads field. Also, according to Eder, when Idalia comes for Friday night volleyball and football, they will play the volleyball game in Plainview and football game in Eads.
High School Principal Brian Bohlander reported the students have been busy preparing for the Kiowa County Fair with many involved in 4H and FFA. In addition, the FFA Creed Speaking Contest will be held on September 26 and Homecoming will be September 25-29 with the annual pep rally on Thursday of that week.
Glenn Smith, district Superintendent, reported that he has been extremely impressed with the hard work the teachers and rest of the staff have been putting in. The elementary teachers have already set up any interventions needed to advance their students. The school grounds continue to be improved and he hoped the fence along a section of Maine Street that was torn down after a vehicle accident should be fixed for Fair with any luck.
Smith then turned to the action items listed on the agenda with the biggest one being the selection of a floor contractor who can get the situation back in order. The board, including Smith and the rest of the administrative team, spent a few hours prior to the meeting interviewing three different construction companies who have submitted bids for the floor replacement project.
Smith told the board, “If this would have happened six months ago, we would have been in an even worse situation as all these contractors were busy at different school and community sites.” There have been two big floor replacements and improvements in the area including in the Wiley gym and the Lamar Community Building gym floor. Since they have completed those jobs, the district are in a good position to hire the contractors who are now looking for more work.”
Board member Dustin Uhland said he thought all three companies that had been interviewed would be more than acceptable. However, when it came right down to it the time frame was a key decider on the board choosing to hire El Paso Floor, Inc as the floor contractors. The vote was unanimous.
El Paso Floor, Inc. is out of Colorado Springs and no stranger to the district as they have worked on sanding the floor in the past and helped the district deal with damage to the gym floor when Eads was flooded some 7 or 8 years ago.
Smith informed the board that their insurance company will pay for the replacement of the floor and El Paso Floor can be on site in two weeks. It will take them approximately 6 weeks to complete the work, depending in large part by how efficiently they are able to receive the required materials. “That would put the floor ready in time for the basketball season to begin, or just after the holidays,” stated Smith.
The board also discussed the work they thought would be required for the district to receive a full approval for coverage by the insurance company. Ideas included adding gutters on the east side of the gym building and making sure the seven expansion joints in the roof system are filled in and waterproofed. More than likely, although they don’t know for sure, the heavy rains all summer long eventually soaked in under the foundation on the east side of the building where a significant amount of water pours off a huge roof surface.
In addition, the board asked Smith to look into improving the grade of the grassy area on the east side of the building and also looking into the possibility of pouring sidewalk around that side of the building.
Smith indicated Roof Masters will be on site to ensure the roof is secure in all sections.
In other business, the board hired a new custodian in Darrell Hollis who will do a lot of the outside work, and learn in time how to maintain the buses. In addition, Hollis will get his CDL in order to drive a bus.
The board also approved the hiring of Kaylee Lenox as the Elementary custodian. Lenox will also be able to help during games and other special events.
The board also voted to cancel the 2023 school board election as all three incumbents including Darci Weeks, Shawn Kraft, and Ralph Berry ran unopposed.
Smith mentioned that for years they have looked at changing the organization of the board from 7 members down to 5 members. This, of course, would require it to go on the ballot for a vote of the People. In the past years there has been little interest in citizens holding a board position and going down to 5 board members could create more competition. Eads is one of only two districts in the entire region that still has a 7-member school board. This idea will be further considered for the 2024 ballot.