HOUSTON – Tests are nothing new at Houston Middle School and a new form of concrete is being examined by the district.
Potholes in the concrete driveway at the Middle School have been a chronic problem for years, but estimates to dig it up, lay a base and pour a new surface have been expensive, prompting the district to delay repairs.
Trustees directed Assistant Superintendent Chad Spence last week to ask K-N-K Construction to install a section of fiberous concrete on the east end of the Middle School driveway to test how well it holds up to twice-daily bus and car traffic.
The board was approached by Todd Kilgore, of K-N-K Construction, last month with an offer to fix the drive at a price of $7.50 per square foot. At that meeting Kilgore said he would dig-out the driveway, put in 18-inches of crushed subsoil and pour six-inches of concrete re-enforced with fiberglass on top.
“I think we need to let Mr. Kilgore do a section,” said Board President Bart Munlin. “I know it holds up.”
Munlin had asked Kilgore to approach the board last month after K-N-K installed the fiberous concrete on driveways at Franklin Corp., that routinely handle 80,000-pound trucks.
Trustees have repeatedly said it will cost approximately $125,000 to repair the driveway and have received bids up to $400,000 to repave the drive from Starkville Road to the Central Office.
Houston Superintendent Dr. Steve Coker said repairing the driveway is not in the budget and the district is facing “other issues that could affect our cash flow,” referring to litigation and possible repairs to leaks in the ceiling at the School of Science and Technology.
Trustee Daniel Heeringa said there are drainage issues that should be addressed first.
Spence said he had received a bid of $74,000 to lay pipe and handle runoff at “the pit,” a section that holds water just south of the Middle School.
“Even if we can’t fix it right, we have got to do something,” said Heeringa. “I drive it and it’s dangerous.”
Trustees said getting K-N-K to do the work over the Labor Day Weekend might keep the district from struggling with traffic congestion in a construction zone. Trustee also appeared to want to keep the cost of construction under $50,000 and avoid engineer and architect fees.