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[April 27, 2014]
Undergoing renovation: Work continues to progress on three Enid Public Schools buildings [Enid News & Eagle, Okla. :: ]
(Enid News & Eagle (OK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) April 26--ENID, Okla. -- Drivers along West Garriott readily can see the building just south of Enid Public Schools' Central Office is undergoing renovation.
That's because work is progressing on three EPS building renovations that are separate from the $99-plus million bond issue projects undertaken since 2010.
The three-building renovation project got under way in August when school board members approved a $4.13 million bid from Reeder General Contractors, Oklahoma City, for renovations to the school district's Administrative Services Center, Information Technology Service Center and Support Services Center.
In addition to the building alongside Garriott that will house the district's administrative services, a second building lying just west of the current Central Office is undergoing renovation to become the Information Technology Service Center.
The Support Services Center, located at the old Cleveland Elementary School building, 1305 S. Adams, houses the property, maintenance, transportation and skilled maintenance departments.
Work on the Support Services Center and Information Technology buildings is nearly complete. A walk-though inspection is scheduled for May 5 to see what needs touched up before the final move-in, said Karl White, chief financial officer and interim superintendent for EPS.
Jeff Herbel, information technology director for EPS, said he's eager for the fast-approaching day the IT department moves into its own building.
"The network operating center is now here," Herbel said, opening the door to a room full of computer equipment. "It used to be in the closet in the building next door." Interesting aspects of the building's past lives were uncovered during the demolition phase, Herbel said. The building used to be the hub of Enid's early horse-drawn trolley transportation system.
"This was originally built to house the horses and trolleys," Herbel said. "When we started to demolish inside, the stable doors were uncovered. They'd been bricked over." The portion of outside wall that used to be bay doors through which trolleys were pulled inside now holds large windows, Herbel said.
At some point during earlier renovations of the building, old trolley tracks were converted into support beams for pillars and ceilings.
In its life as a school district building, the building earlier housed the maintenance and transportation services.
The future Administrative Services Center is much farther from being finished. It stands with windows removed.
"They are completing the structural steel and will soon be able to pour the concrete floors," White said.
White said the changes were necessary because of growth in the district.
"We're very, very cramped in this facility we're in," White said.
The money for the work comes from two sources of revenue, White said. It is a combination of the excess sales tax funding the school district has received from the city since 2003 and building fund money.
"Voters then approved a quarter-cent sales tax for repair of streets and toward the schools for renovating the schools," White said. "The amount of revenue collected that is in excess of what is required to pay back the revenue bonds the city sold, those dollars are going to the districts within the city limits," White said.
The bulk of the funds, but not all, go to EPS. Chisholm, Kremlin-Hillsdale, Waukomis and Pioneer also get a portion of that money because they have students in their districts living within Enid city limits.
The other revenue source being used by EPS to fund the work is the five-mill building fund levy against property taxes.
"We've been saving that money for a number of years toward this project," White said. "We'll be very excited when we open up." The anticipated completion date for the new Administrative Services Center is sometime after the start of the 2014-15 school year.
___ (c)2014 the Enid News & Eagle (Enid, Okla.) Visit the Enid News & Eagle (Enid, Okla.) at www.enidnews.com Distributed by MCT Information Services
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