CBHS fieldhouse concerns aired
Pat Suits with the Copper Basin Touchdown Club addressed the board about the field house at Copper Basin High School.
Polk County’s School Board held their regular monthly meeting Monday night. A trip for the FFA was approved, as was a trip to Washington, DC for South Polk students, “pending it’s open,” quipped Board Chairman Mark Williams, referencing the government shutdown. Board member Gary Silvers gave a brief update on the progress of roof issues, and Pat Suits with the Copper Basin Touchdown Club addressed the board about the field house at Copper Basin High School.
Suits, along with several other members of the CBHS football boosters, appealed to the board for help with maintenance and cleanup of the Cougars field house at the football field. He said they were not on a witchhunt or trying to cause trouble, but wanted their coaches to be able to coach and not worry about the conditions of the field house.
Suits said it has been an ongoing problem that included dead rats and standing water in the visitor’s restrooms, lack of hot water for showers, leaks, and staph infections being spread. He said the little league brought in porta-potties so visitors did not have to use the bathrooms there. Suits said PCHS had a newer fieldhouse and did not have to deal with these issues.
Williams said they wanted to give the maintenance guys a shot at fixing the problems, adding “there’s nothing there they couldn’t fix.” He said they’d already found and dealt with a problem with the gutter. Williams said proper cleaning was not being done at the field house – equipment and uniforms are piled together, the floor is not being mopped – and the principal has been told to have the coaches do their part.
Director of Schools Dr. James Jones said it shouldn’t be the responsibility of the booster club to keep the field house clean. He said from him, to the principal, to the coaches, and down to the students, they were taking responsibility.
Williams said the issue with staph was not related to the commodes or the floors. He said uniforms were moldy and there were moldy water bottles, pointing out they had not been cleaned out from the Friday before and it was the coach’s job to take care of it.
Williams said PCHS may have a newer facility, but Coach Davis didn’t let his team leave until everything was cleaned up and practice uniforms were hung – not left in a pile. He suggested the old moldy carpet in Basin’s field house be pulled up and the concrete be painted and used. Williams said the problem with the urinals was a drain issue, not plumbing, reiterating it was something their maintenance men could fix without having to hire someone to come in.
Suits said apart from health concerns, it was embarrassing for visitors to come to the field and have to see and use the facilities. He said he did not want people to leave with a bad impression. Williams said the visitor’s side should be better than any of it since that’s what they see to get their impressions.
Board member James Davis said they floor of the visitor’s side should be painted, and commented it was already better than it was a couple weeks ago. Jones said it would be a completely different place within two more weeks. Suits asked if there were thing the booster club could do or if them doing work brought in liability issues. Silvers said to coordinate with Jones what they wanted to do for liability questions, but did not need to be on the roof or doing any major work – painting or cleaning would not cause liability issues.
At the end of the meeting, Silvers said David Hemelright, who had already been working with the school board on the roof issues, was working with the Fire Marshall to implement a structural engineer to look at the roof at Benton Elementary. Silvers explained they could not bid out the work to replace or repair the roof until they got specs in line with the architect, and couldn’t do that until they knew what the structural engineer had to say.
“The issue is deeper than putting tar on the roof,” Silvers said. “We’re way past that.”
Hemelright, with Kaatz, Binkley, Jones & Morris Architects, Inc., had already inspected Benton Elementary, Chilhowee Middle School, and Copper Basin Elementary schools and made recommendations for the work to be done. Silvers said the school system was not being charged for that, but more cost would come into play with the structural engineer.
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