Radium Middle lockers may get upgrade

ALBANY, Ga. -- An ongoing issue with Radium Springs Middle School lockers may be be addressed soon.

The Dougherty County School System's Board of Education Building and Grounds Committee discussed the issue of the 722 lockers, which according to DCSS Assistant Director of Facilities and Capital

Projects Bob Fowler have been causing difficulties for Radium Middle students for some time, at a Thursday-morning meeting.

Board members James Bush, Michael Windom and David Maschke make up the Building and Grounds Committee.

"We have had problems with the lockers since they were installed," Fowler told board members Thursday. "We have made contact with the company that installed the original lockers, and they recommend that we replace the built-in combination locks with padlocks."

The assistant facilities director gave a copy of an e-mail from David Yarbrough of PHP Locker Co. that recommended the change.

"The List brand single-point lockers in combination with spring-bolt built-in combination locks do not work well together," the e-mail states. "The locker industry learned this over a period of years and has since worked with the lock manufacturers to design a new hasp and lock. This, however, does Radium Springs no good because the new built-in lock will not work on Radium Springs lockers. This leaves 2 options, either continue to repair and replace broken locks every year or remove the built-in locks and replace with padlocks."

Fowler also provided board members with a copy of a price quote from PHP Locker to replace and repair the lockers for $8,498.

During the meeting, Bush expressed concern over being consistent in awarding bids and asked if the locker company was the only entity that could repair and replace the locks.

Executive Director of Operations and Business Services Robert Lloyd said he believes board policy dictates that three quotes are needed for any work under $10,000.

Fowler agreed that he would get two more competitive quotes.

The Building and Grounds Committee also discussed and approved Fowler to open bids to transform the old home economics lab at Dougherty High School into a cosmetology lab that would give students who are studying cosmetology at the school a fully functional classroom and lab in which to work.

The committee also voted 3-0 to recommend:

-- Using Albany Building Construction's $112,345 bid for Turner Field transportation improvements;

-- Accepting SRJ Architects' bid of $39,312 to serve as the system's five-year local facilities plan consultant;

-- Updating change-order proposals at Albany and Westover high schools; and

-- Approving quotes to purchase and install TVs at Turner and Lake Park elementary schools ($14,002) and OKing projector screen purchase and installation at Lake Park and Live Oak elementary schools ($4,029).

A bid for pea gravel installation on playgrounds at Lake Park, Magnolia, Sylvester Road and Turner Elementary schools was approved by a 2-1 vote with Maschke and Bush for and Windom against JVS Associates' bid of $26,000.

Fowler also discussed granting the city of Albany a sanitary sewer easement at Albany High School.

Bush called the approval a "no-brainer" and said the issue would be voted on by the school board with Maschke and Windom also in agreement.