HOUSTON – The school board has patched their religious driveway – you know, the one that is very holey.
Crews from K-N-K Construction showed up on Saturday of Labor Day weekend and poured concrete to mend a huge pothole in the Houston Middle School driveway. When parents dropped off students Sept. 3, they found a smooth, hard, fully-cured surface in its place.
“This is a problem we have looked at for at least three years and we just decided something had to be done,” said Houston School Board President Bart Munlin. “This is a test of a special fibrous concrete and if we are successful it may solve our problem.”
The Houston Middle School is built over an old pond and the soil in that area is unstable. The concrete drive that serves the Middle School has developed numerous cracks and potholes. That driveway is traveled by parents of students and school buses twice a day.
Munlin asked Todd Kilgore to approach the board in July after K-N-K installed the fibrous concrete on driveways at Franklin Corp., that routinely handle 80,000-pound trucks. 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.
“The state requires us to hire either an architect or engineer any time we do a project over $50,000,” said Munlin. “This work did not cost that. Again, it’s a test and if we like what we see, we will probably do more.”
Munlin said the district at one point got an estimate from an engineering company and a second one from an architect to repair the driveway. Both estimates were over $700,000.
Munlin said while patching a pothole and testing this product is rather simple, fixing the Middle School driveway is a little more complex.
“We need to do something with the driveway from Starkville Road to the parking lot at the Central Office,” said Munlin. “And we have got some drainage issues in front of the Middle School, too. That work will be more detailed and may require an engineer to help us with installing pipe on a grade to handle runoff.”
Munlin also said Houston School Board trustees are responsible for more than just setting budgets and policy.
“Anyone coming to the Middle School, to a football or basketball game or visiting the School of Science and Technology sees that driveway,” said Munlin. “This school board wants anyone who visits any campus to take away a positive impression of that school.”
Repairing the driveway from Starkville Road to the Central office is not in the current school budget, but Munlin said he would like to see other potholes repaired as soon as possible.
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