Oneonta City Board of Education

The cost of upkeep

“We’re probably looking at roughly $5 million to replace both the roof and the heating-and-air system,” Supt. Scott Coefield told the Oneonta City Board of Education at Monday night’s meeting.

Coefield’s statement came during an update on the status of the system’s buildings by high school principal Keith Bender. The board learned that the roof, which is approximately 22 years old, will need to have significant work in the coming years.

The main focus of the principal’s update concerned the school’s heatingand cooling system, which was noted to have been state of the art in the mid- 1970s when the school was built. Bender told the board that there were several areas of concern related to the main building’s system.

When the building was originally constructed it featured open classrooms where grade levels were grouped accordingly with often only a blackboard or bookshelves separating classrooms.

Over the years, the system moved away from the open classrooms and began to enclose the previously open areas, often creating as many as four classrooms from one large area.

Unfortunately, the building’s ductwork and HVAC system have proven to be insufficient in several ways. Several of the pumps located in the attic and crawlspaces that move hot water from one area to another are either very inefficient or no longer functioning.

Bender estimated the cost of replacing a pump at roughly $1000 and said that to replace all the parts in the system would run approximately $250,000 to $300,000.

In addition, the system is tied together in a way that O.R. Ratliff Gymnasium cannot be heated or cooled alone. Coefield said the system could save a significant amount by having the gym placed on its own – reducing the cost of heating or cooling empty classrooms.

In other business, the board approved Karen Teal as tennis coach with Beverly Anderson serving as the team’s faculty representative. The board also approved Steve Gunn as a volunteer coach to assist with the wrestling program.

The board allowed the continued enrollment of two students (one each in the high school and elementary) who had moved outside the district.

Finally, the board reluctantly accepted the resignation of longtime custodian Inell Smith.

Present at the Nov. 29 meeting were Coefield, board members Geoff Smith, Winston Scott, Robbie McAlpine, Kitty Cheak, and Don Maples. Bender, elementary principal Leslie Self, board secretary Charlotte Vick, system financial officer Kathy Loggins, AEA Uniserv director Cathy Smith, and several visitors.

The board will not meet in December due to the Christmas holidays.