Culver Schools Eye Upgrades With Bond Refunding Proceeds

Culver Community School CorporationThe Culver School Board got an update Monday on some of the projects being undertaken with the proceeds from the corporation’s recent bond refunding. It gave the corporation just under a million dollars to be used on capital projects.

Middle/High School Principal Brett Berndt says some of that money will be used to make improvements to the bleachers in the high school gym. “A safety concern in our gym was the handrails we have,” he says. “As of right now, the handrails, if you ever touched one, you’ll notice they wobble everywhere and they’re not very safe. Also the amount we have. On our visitors’ side, we actually only have one handrail that goes up the lower level and one right down the middle of the upper level. On the home side, we have one down the lower balcony and one down the middle. We have, actually, three aisles in each set of bleachers, and we thought we needed to get handrails for every aisle.”

The project would also involve widening the aisles to allow people to walk on either side of the handrails. Construction is planned to take place over spring break, so the safety upgrades will be ready in time for this year’s graduation ceremony. Berndt says the school received a quote last year for the work, but another company recently made a substantially lower bid.

Interim Superintendent Chuck Kitchell says there are also some other projects planned with the money, “We’ve also had a couple companies in, looking at the loading dock. We are working on getting a couple of quotes or bids for refinishing the High School loading dock, basically taking the flat surface of the loading dock and taking it totally out, re-pouring all the flat surface, and then we’re talking about adding a ramp or two to make it ADA-compliant and/or a little bit easier for some of our vendors to get some of their carts up and down that loading dock.”

An added benefit of the ramp is that it would be located near a fire exit, making it easier for those using wheelchairs to leave the building during emergencies. Kitchell says the corporation’s gotten one set of quotes for the work, but they plan to wait until they get a second set before moving ahead with the project. They hope to complete the project over the summer.

Additionally, the corporation had previously decided to use some of the proceeds from the bond refunding for its share of a Secured School Safety matching grant awarded by the state. That funding will be used to make the entrances to the Middle/High School Building more secure.

However, none of the bond refinancing proceeds can be used for the corporation’s struggling general fund, which is where staff salaries are budgeted.