Education

School Board clears way for QJHS, Flinn summer projects

Quincy High School flips on the stadium lights at Flinn Memorial Stadium on Friday, April 17, 2020. The Quincy School Board cleared the way Wednesday for summer construction projects at Quincy Junior High School and Flinn Stadium.
Katelyn Metzger1|
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Apr. 23, 2020 12:01 am

QUINCY — The Quincy School Board cleared the way Wednesday for summer construction projects at Quincy Junior High School and Flinn Stadium.

Board members approved bids of $432,215, plus an alternate bid of $14,720, from Vinson and Sill for piping and water main replacement and $1,797,000 from Brown Electric for electrical system replacement at QJHS and $199,567 from NMC Masonry for concrete and joint repair work at Flinn.

Superintendent Roy Webb said the work at Flinn will be "a long-term solution" for ongoing issues.

"People that go out there will notice crumbling concrete and cracks," he said. "This is a long-term solution the board has chosen, not just caulking cracks, but there will be some renovation work and a system in place to allow some give and take in the concrete."

The work will begin soon and should be done by Aug. 15.

Renovation work also will continue at QJHS, which has seen exterior work including tuckpointing, a new roof and new doors done in recent years.

"Now we'll do significant work on the inside of the building," Webb said.

Portions of the electrical system date to 1931, when the school was built, and need upgrading to today's standards.

"It will all be up to today's codes and be a lot safer for staff and students," Webb said, and with the upgrades, "this gives teachers the ability to use technology and have more than one outlet in a room."

The electrical work will be done over four years, doing one floor each summer, or possibly wrapping up the project in three years if two floors can be done over one summer.

"They'll start as soon as they can," Webb said. "They'll have crews in starting next week or the end of this week."

The plumbing work will upgrade old and outdated piping, Webb said, and the school also will see some painting, carpeting and ceiling work. That work will be done over two years.

"It will all be done floor by floor," he said. "This summer we'll concentrate mostly on the third floor."

The school district will use health life safety funds to pay for the projects.

Maintenance and custodial teams will prepare the building for the summer projects, which also include work by the district's technology department to run additional cable and wire in the building.

"It will be a team effort this summer at the junior high," Webb said.

In other action, the Quincy School Board:

Heard a reminder that the last day of the school year will be May 26 for students and May 27 for teachers.

Learned the district has served about 57,000 meals since schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the district has loaned out about 600 laptops to families.

The district's remote learning program "is nothing short of amazing," Webb said. "I'm very proud of our teachers, principals, Directors (Kim) Dinkheller and (Erica) Maynard. It's an outstanding program built from scratch. Nothing existed six weeks ago, but they were able to do that."

Authorized a $750,000 interfund loan from working cash to transportation to address a shortfall in state funding.

"We usually get four quarterly categorical payments from the state on transportation. This year we received two so far, and one was from last year, so we really received one of our categoricals," said Webb, who doubts QPS will get another payment this fiscal year, which ends June 30.

The school district typically gets about $270,000 in each categorical payment.

The district continues to get state aid payments, but with categorical funding falling behind, the loan prepares the transportation fund "for what it needs to finish the year," Webb said. "We've been behind on that account for several years from state payments. That has taken a toll on the fund balance."

The loan will be repaid after the district gets property tax payments later this year.

Amended the pledge agreement for the Flinn athletic facility to extend the project time line to August. The facility, built with private funding by Quincy High School football boosters, features a locker room, weight room and video room, along with areas for use by the soccer and track and field programs, and for storage of equipment for all sports.

"It's coming together. It looks good," Webb said. "I think they're very close to completing that."