The Paintsville Independent Schools Board of Education heard an update from architect Bill Richardson Monday during its regularly scheduled meeting, learning that the Paintsville High School gym and roofing renovation project undertaken by the board last year is about two weeks behind schedule. 

That, officials said, will force the district to use the Paintsville Elementary School gym for the upcoming volleyball season.

Richardson began his presentation by discussing the current completion rate of the school’s renovation project, undertaken last year and nearing completion as the district gets ready for the 2018-2019 school year. 

According to Richardson, the project is two weeks behind schedule, but the slow progress was due to several parts of the gym renovation requiring fitment to custom areas, a decision made by the board during meetings last year that was aimed at beautifying and updating the gymnasium while retaining its classic architecture and aesthetic.

“They’ve got floors in now, concrete floors, a lot of electrical and plumbing and vent piping and drain piping in everywhere,” Richardson said. “It’s a jungle of things we’ve put into three or four fairly custom fit spaces. I think we’re probably two weeks behind, so we’re going to expect some rapid progress.”

PBOE Finance Officer David Lemaster praised the choice on the part of the board to choose TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) roofing, stating that the partially-installed roofing had held up well during July 4’s microburst storm which damaged several buildings around Paintsville High School, but did not affect the roofing at all.

“The superintendent (of the roofing company) told me, he’s been doing this 35 years or something, that he was a little skeptical with that (roofing material), it’s fairly new, about 10 years old, he had never dealt with it before,” Lemaster said. “But he said, ‘Buddy, you’re going to have a good roof,” … during that storm it didn’t move a bit.”

Superintendent David Gibson asked Richardson whether the gym would be ready for the upcoming beginning of volleyball season.

“We’ve got, the volleyball season actually starts Aug. 4,” Gibson said. “So, the volleyball coach, obviously, is chomping at the bit and wants to get in the gym as soon as possible,” Gibson said. “So, I know that’s tight, but, once we get the floor done in the gym, which we’re going to start next week hopefully, is there any reason why, at that point, she couldn’t play her games in there?”

Richardson said that it was highly unlikely the gym would be ready by that time due to hand rails, new seating and other corrections to safety concerns and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance which have yet to be installed. Gibson asked for a list of items that would prevent the usage of the gym to be given to parents in an attempt to update them on the progress of the project.

“We’re just going to have to be secure, but we’ll keep an eye on it,” Richardson said. “But I’m going to give them a call and relay all of the board’s concerns.”

   The board discussed the viability of using Paintsville Elementary School’s gym in the interim, with Paintsville High School Principal Charles McClure voicing concerns over the height of the gym creating issues for players. 

“We want to get them playing on that floor as soon as possible,” Gibson said. “We can handle them working underneath, if the gymnasium’s okay. But, if most of the work’s done on the inside or the work’s done enough to where we can play, we need to push for that if we can, but if we can’t, we understand. Safety’s always going to be the first priority.”

The Paintsville Board of Education meets on the second Monday of each month at 5:15 p.m. in the board’s office on Second Street, and all meetings are open to the public

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