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School Board approves bids for security upgrade, special ed building reno

EHS to get new flooring by Caitlan Butler | March 29, 2023 at 12:00 a.m.
From left, El Dorado School Board President Susan Turbeville, El Dorado Schools Superintendent Jim Tucker, and school board members Renee Skinner and Wayne Gibson are pictured during their March 13, 2023 meeting. (Caitlan Butler/News-Times)

The El Dorado School Board this month approved two big ticket bids for renovations at three district campuses.

Superintendent Jim Tucker told board members during the group's regular meeting on March 13 that bids had been submitted for two projects – one, a flooring replacement at El Dorado High School, and the other, renovations at EHS, Washington Middle School and the district special education building.

"We have several projects we grouped together in hopes to get a good bid," Tucker said. "The renovation of that (special ed) building is one; Washington Middle School alterations on a restroom is another one; EHS alterations on all eight main restrooms is another one; and then district-wide security upgrades," Tucker said.

Tucker said the security upgrades will include adding safety glass at every building entrance on El Dorado School District campuses.

Installation of several other new security features will start next week, Tucker noted on Tuesday. The school board previously approved a $496,057 purchased of an electronic access control and monitoring system for every outside door in the district.

"It will monitor every outside door and let the front office know if that door is opened," Tucker explained. "And the access control will be used by phones; teachers who need access to those doors, they'll be given a code and then they'll just touch their phones to the control panel to get in."

That purchase was partially funded by a state grant of a little more than $250,000 for security upgrades, Tucker noted.

In August, the school board also agreed to the purchase of 22 Open Gate weapons detection systems for district campuses, and in September instituted a clear bag policy for athletic events.

"We're also going to advertise for commissioned school security officers at each school," Tucker said. "They won't be police officers.... But it will give an armed presence at each location if we can find the people qualified to do it."

The renovations to the special education building, which is across the street from the district administration office, include gutting the building, repainting inside, adding new flooring and reconfiguring the layout inside the building.

Only one bid was submitted for the special education building, EHS and WMS restrooms and security project: a $2.2 million proposal from Ideal Construction.

"It's $162,000 below the budget," Tucker told board members earlier this month.

The bid was unanimously approved by the school board, and Tucker said Tuesday he expects work on the special ed building to begin next week.

"We're excited about the opportunity to move our special ed offices off the (El Dorado Education Center) campus," Tucker said. "We're excited about having them close to us – we can just walk right across the street and attend special ed meetings or professional development when we need to."

The district got three bids back on a proposal to replace all the carpet at EHS: one for $1.3 million from Floors and More, a Bryant-based company; one for $1.54 million from Showcase Floors and Contractors, of Pine Bluff; and one for $1.62 from JGP, Incorporated, of Little Rock.

"I'm recommending the low bid of $1.3 million from Floors and More," Tucker told the school board. "Actually, Floors and More is the company that put flooring in and tile at the high school when it was built, so they have a good reputation, good references."

Tucker said the carpet will be replaced with LVT – luxury vinyl tile.

"It's long-lasting, durable, looks very nice," he said. "The carpet at the high school is worn and it's time to be replaced. It's had 1,200-1,300 people that walk on it all day every day over the past 12 years, so it's impressive that it's lasted this long."

The school board voted unanimously to accept Tucker's recommendation of Floors and More's $1,305,534 bid. Tucker said the work will take place over the summer.

The headline of this story has been updated.

Print Headline: School Board approves bids for bathroom, special ed building renos


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