Alabaster moving forward with work on school buildingsPublished 10:15am Thursday, May 2, 2013
By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor
The Birmingham-based Tucker-Jones engineering firm will conduct structural engineering studies on Alabaster’s school buildings over the next several weeks after the city’s School Board agreed to hire the company during a May 1 meeting.
During the meeting, which was held at the Alabaster Senior Center, the Alabaster School Board voted unanimously to hire the company.
“They will be looking for cracks in the floor, structural damage, et cetera,” said Alabaster Interim School Superintendent Dr. Phillip Hammonds. “Having that reassurance, I think, is a positive thing.”
The Tucker-Jones will work with the Volkert company, which conducted an assessment of the city’s six school buildings earlier this year, and is working to coordinate several projects at the schools.
During a work session before its May 1 meeting, the School Board heard an update from Volkert Construction Manager Jonathan Grammer, who spoke to the board members on several upcoming projects at the schools.
Grammer said the company is working to address projects such as installing a new roof on the Thompson Intermediate School annex building, installing new windows and flooring, updating school signs, addressing waterproofing issues and rekeying all locks in the schools.
Because the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems for Alabaster’s schools currently are controlled centrally by the Shelby County School System, Grammer said Volkert is working with the Trane HVAC company to move the controls for Alabaster schools to a central location in the city.
“Obviously the rekeying is big,” Grammer said. “We did an assessment on how many (lock) cores need to be changed out, and we don’t have that pricing back yet.”
The Alabaster School Board must approve each project before it moves forward. School Board members are working to finalize the city’s split from the Shelby County School System before the start of the 2013-2014 school year.