01/27/06 — Security, roofs top discussion for committee

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Security, roofs top discussion for committee

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on January 27, 2006 1:59 PM

A weekend break-in at the Wayne County School District central office prompted board members to discuss security during a meeting of the board's facilities committee Thursday afternoon.

Although committee members did not discuss the pending 2005 facilities funding plan, they did review roofing problems at three of the county's elementary schools -- a project that could mean an $880,000 bill for the county and schools.

The school board and commissioners are still waiting for the results of a consultant's review of the district's facilities and an analysis of the available county funds. Although work on the 2005 budget has not been completed, 2006 discussions are already in progress.

When the intruder broke into the central office through a window on the second floor, the security alarm malfunctioned and did not alert the police of the crime, said Sprunt Hill, assistant superintendent for auxiliary services. Since last weekend, Hill said the school board has implemented the suggestions of local law enforcement officers regarding keeping the building safe.

"I think we have been doing a good job complying with what the Goldsboro Police Department said," Hill said.

That does not mean that the county office will not have to consider additional security measures, however, he added.

The most important issue is to have a better understanding of who enters and exits the building during the day, Hill said. Although the committee members did not make a decision or recommendation concerning security, Superintendent Dr. Steven Taylor said the board will be "looking at something that could be a cost item."

Suggested measures could include electronic security throughout the corridors of the building, which is located on Royall Avenue, and additional cameras, said Chris Barnes, energy management coordinator, who used to work in the security business.

In other business, the board discussed the possibility of replacing three elementary school roofs in the coming years. The roofs of Northwest, Northeast and Eastern Wayne elementary schools were originally designed for metal, but were replaced with shingles, school board member Pete Gurley said.

Now that wind and other weather conditions have damaged the roofs over a period of years, he said reconstruction could be necessary. However, he said, that project could be expensive.

Maintenance Director Danny Langley said if the school board decides to replace the roofs, workers would have to remove the top layer of each roof to replace the plywood. Replacing shingles with metal could cost the county $880,000. Exchanging old shingles for new ones would cost $120,000. The prices do not include the cost of replacing the plywood.