Southwest handles first-week issues

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

District able to correct problems, continue work on district projects

The beginning of the school year is always a hectic time with parents and students getting back into a routine and teachers and staff reacquainting themselves with students, and unforeseen issues can rear their heads just as everyone is getting settled.

Tosha Tilford, Southwest superintendent, said on the first day of classes, there were some plumbing issues in the lower elementary building.

“There was some porcelain down in the line, and the process of fixing the issue was simply our maintenance department blasting it out with the water sprayer,” she said. “We bought a 100-foot electric snake for the maintenance department for this issue.”

Tilford said on Aug. 14, there was a clogged line in the kitchen of the lower elementary building, as well.

“That was just food that had gotten clogged up in the line,” she said. “That one wasn’t a huge problem to fix.”

Tilford said once the clogged pipes were fixed, there were no further complications.

“When MFA came to do their pressure test, the propane tank in front of the agriculture building had low pressure,” she said. “We found a leak at the northwest corner of the middle school, which has since been capped.”

Tilford said there were multiple leaks found, and all leaks have been capped.

“We will have to have it re-plumbed from the propane tank all the way to the middle school gym,” she said. “There are many, many holes throughout the pipes.”

Tilford said right now, the district is still taking bids, so she doesn’t know how much exactly that project is going to cost.

“We have two bids in right now that are very far apart on the pricing,” she said. “We are still waiting for more.”

Tilford said the next issue was discovered when the kitchen freezer started having issues during the first week of school.

“We had some people come in to look at it, and as soon as they showed up, the freezer went out completely,” she said. “It was a 25-year-old freezer, and what we did was have it completely rebuilt.”

Tilford said everything except for the walls of that walk-in freezer is brand new.

“That cost $8,300, but a new one could have cost us $30,000,” she said. “This is like getting a new freezer for a fraction of the price.”

Tilford said there were also some HVAC replacements and repairs.

“There are 15 different units that have been down,” she said. “We replaced one and have been able to fix the rest of them.”

Tilford said all of the bond issue projects have been finished prior to school starting.

“The new central office is still being completed, but that was a separate project for the district that was not included with the bond issue,” she said. “The district is paying for the central office, and we are doing the work ourselves.

“We did several projects this summer that were not part of the bond issue. We re-did the security at the high school entrance and the high school office.”

Tilford said she doesn’t want people to think that the district was being untruthful about what the bond money would be spent on, and the district was simply in a place to be able to do some additional projects throughout the campus with district funds.

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