Trustees eye Middle School driveway

The puddle in the Houston Middle School driveway has become so well known it has taken on the name "The Pit." School trustees are studying the cost of repairing the driveway. (Photo by Floyd Ingram)

The puddle in the Houston Middle School driveway has become so well known it has taken on the name “The Pit.” School trustees are studying the cost of repairing the driveway. (Photo by Floyd Ingram)

HOUSTON – It has nothing to do with educating students but it could be a major expense for the Houston School District next year.

The Houston School Board of Trustees heard a proposal from Todd Kilgore, representing K-N-K Construction, on possible options to fix a crumbling driveway in front of the Houston Middle School that has frustrated parents and school employees for more than two years.

I asked him to give us some options on the problem we’ve got,” said Board President Bart Munlin. “The bids we have gotten are extremely high. We are just looking for viable options.”

Kilgore’s proposal was presented with a square-foot price and he said it could be done in sections.

The problem is the gray soil in this area and the fact you have a saturated base that shifts and will continue to break up and get worse,” said Kilgore. “What I propose to do is dig it out, then dig down 18-inches, put in a foot of crushed subsoil that we will compact and top with six-inches of concrete.”

Kilgore offered an estimated price of $7.50 a square-foot using fiberous concrete and $8.50 for reinforced concrete. The Middle School driveway is roughly 200-yards long and approximately 20-feet wide. The district has been quoted a price of $125,000 to fix the driveway.

Kilgore said no concrete is permanent and, while he offered no guarantees, he urged the board to look at parking lots at Franklin Corporation for examples of the fiberous concrete.

They have 80,000-pound trucks come in there and that is way over what you would see on this driveway,” said Kilgore. “You do have some drainage problems that need to be addressed and that is probably a second project.”

State law requires projects of more than $50,000 to have an engineer or architect. Engineering and architect fees can be up to 15-percent to a project’s cost.

Trustee Carol Byrne suggested the district look at repairing a spot just south of the Middle School that holds water and that has been nicknamed “The Pit.” She said trustees could then look at the work and determine if this was the direction that wanted to go.

Trustee Daniel Heeringa asked Assistant Superintendent Chad Spence to get measurements of the driveway and also a list of drainage concerns with the Middle School driveway.

The district initially got estimates to fix the Middle School driveway in June 2011, but costs and the fact the project would have to be done while school was in session delayed the work.

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