East Bernstadt Independent looks into new parking lot pick-up/drop-off loops

Photo by Dillan Combs

Kevin Cheek of Sherman Carter Barnhart Architects presents schematics outlining a potential loop-based drop-off/pick-up structure along with possible locations for the new board office. 

East Bernstadt Independent may soon begin work on a new parking lot system and board office.

Kevin Cheek of Sherman Carter Barnhart Architects and David Jackson, president of Hacker Brothers, Inc., appeared at the East Bernstadt Independent school board Tuesday evening. They presented schematics detailing two parking loops which could increase the speed at which parents and guardians can pick up their children.

"The idea is to give the school more options to help improve that traffic and get people in and out," Cheek said, pointing towards the schematics. He explained that two separate car loops -- one stacking an estimated 50 vehicles and the other an estimated 65 -- could pass through the school drop-off/pick-up island from each side. Meanwhile, the bus loop on the other side of the school could drop off and pick students up safely and out of the way of traffic. Each loop can potentially be doubled, which may speed the process up further.

Meanwhile, the new board office could be placed in one of two new locations in the parking lot by the proposed car loop closer to the school. Cheek suspects the soil under this lot to be of higher quality than that under their current board office. Additionally, this new office could allow staff from within the office to monitor vehicles as they enter the school. After building the new office, Cheek proposed the school used their office for storage.

The East Bernstadt Independent school board approved for American Engineers, Inc. to conduct a geotechnical survey under the proposed locations for the new car loops and board office. The survey will test the soil quality and ensure there is no potential architecture underneath that could hamper the project and needs to be removed.

Meanwhile, board members will consider where they want the new board office. Also, they will consult with Jackson and Cheek with how exactly they want the car loops to be.

Sherman Carter Barnhart and Hacker Brothers recently collaborated with East Bernstadt Independent on a projected $2.4 million renovation project. The project updated the middle school building with new bathrooms, ADA-accessible facilities, an HCAV system, classroom LED technology and a restructured library, among other changes. The renovations are nearing completion, with approving put in a proposal request for $9,588.60 to apply finishing changes to the project. These changes include RH adhesive to be used to carpets to reduce school-wide humidity.

In other actions, the East Bernstadt Independent school board:

— Confirmed a total school attendance in August of 97.39 percent, with literacy teacher Sandra Roberts having the highest class attendance at 99.14 percent.

— Discussed the new sound systems deployed in each classroom so that students can hear the lecture regardless of their seating placement. The systems connect to a mic each teacher wears, which plays his or her voice throughout the classroom.

— Confirmed the month of August finishing with a school balance of $2,022,697.56. A large portion of the balance is part of the construction fund for the on-going renovations. Additionally, the school received a Steele Reese grant for approximately $26,000, which will go towards purchasing a new set of science textbooks for $30,000.

— Discussed the school's working budget, which estimates a general fund budget of $3.7 million with a contingency of $588,808 (roughly a 17% contingency.)

— Announced the resignation of Curtis Storm as the school archery coach. Storm resigned to accept the position of head coach at North Laurel High School. Replacing Storm as the East Bernstadt Independent archery coach is Melony Philpot.

dcombs@sentinel-echo.com

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