Water situation, other capital needs addressed

Charlie Koenig - Posted on Nov 28, 2018 - 02:10 PM

Mathews County Public Schools is facing a number of building needs, the most pressing of which is the water situation at Thomas Hunter Middle School.

Six classrooms, two bathrooms and the nurse’s office at the middle school all currently lack running water and while plans are underway to address the faulty pipes, a contract has not yet been awarded to do the work.

Superintendent of Schools Nancy Welch updated members of the Mathews County School Board on capital improvement and maintenance needs during the board’s Nov. 20 meeting in the Mathews High School media center.

Welch told the board that she is working on getting two more quotes before selecting a firm to do the repairs, but she expects the work to run about $10,000. County supervisors have already given her the go-ahead for the emergency repairs, but she needs either two more bids or “no-bids” (firms indicating that they have considered and passed on the project) according to the rules of the county’s procurement policy, she said.

Once a company is selected, the work itself should not take much time, as it does not require any demolition, only installing new PVC piping, Welch said. Initially, the school division was looking at copper piping; changing to PVC has reduced the expected cost from about $50,000 to $10,000.

Work is progressing on the collapsing drainage culverts behind Lee-Jackson/Thomas Hunter, although recent rains have delayed some of that work.

At Mathews High School, the school’s clock system has failed and wireless clocks have been temporarily installed to meet the need. The current clock system is out of production, Welch said. The school also has a problem with the fire alarm panel in the school. Alerts are generated, but do not hit the secondary panels; the problem appears to be an issue in one of the trunk lines coming out of the main panel, she said.