Some project changes are made at AC

    Additions and subtractions were made to Adams Central's construction and renovation project by the AC school board at its recent meeting
    The board, with member Mike Brown absent, voted 6-0 to add two items, costing about $80,000 overall, to the $10 million project.
    The board agreed to spend at least $5,975, but no more than $7,975, to remove asbestos from around pipes in an underground tunnel. The work will be done by Environmental Technology Consulting Corp. of Fort Wayne.
    It also agreed to spend $71,500 to put ceramic tile on the hallway floor in the addition on the north side of the building. It was said that existing ceramic tile has been in hallways since 1968 and is still in good condition. "This'll last 50 years," said board member Steve Maller.
    The board also rejected spending $150,000 to remodel the restrooms in the 100 and 200 wings. Such work would have made them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act by allowing wheelchair access, creating improved ventilation, etc.
    A proposal for sewer connection improvements beneath those restrooms was delayed for more study.
    Board member Wes Kuntzman wondered if the 100 and 200 wings will eventually be demolished and replaced, as the 300 and 400 wings are in the current project. If so, he asked, why improve the restrooms if they will be gone in a few years anyway?
    The board also unanimously decided to delay a decision to move the elementary school playground from where it had been (in the area beside where the north expansion of the school is being built) to where the football team's practice field is located (just west of the tennis courts).
    Barry Ehinger, a former board member and now the board's overseer of the project, said the estimated cost to relocate the playground is about $50,000, including $20,000 to move and set up the various items, $20,000 to buy and install a special rubberized surface covering 1,344 square feet, and up to $10,000 to erect a fence along a ditch that floods in rainy weather and to raise the level of the land by two feet because of flooding.
    Ehinger said the land could be raised by putting dirt atop of gravel for drainage.
    He said other places on the AC property were looked at for the playground, but the practice field was deemed the best site. It was also stated that the distance to and from the proposed location is not too far for the students to go during recesses.
    During the discussion, elementary school principal Terri Laurent said that if the playground is moved to the practice field, gates must be erected on the driveway past the elementary school so the road could be blocked off from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on school days for safety reasons.
    Although the playground proposal was put off, Superintendent Mike Pettibone said AC has almost $32,000 in federal economic stimulus money that must be used before September of 2011 and that could be applied to the playground.
    In regard to the playground, Kuntzman said the lack of a long-term plan for it bothers him. He wondered if the site might wind up being moved again in a few years. Board member Steve Bailey agreed, saying, "I don't see the plan."
    Board president John Sipe said the board should not act in a "piecemeal" fashion and he and others noted that, with harsh winter weather, there's less use of the playground until spring, although Laurent said students are allowed outside quite often in winter.
    Laurent and others said the playground also gets a lot of use from children in Monroe in evenings and weekends.