By Kim Walter
FRONT ROYAL - The Warren County School Board has approved a monetary donation to go toward fixing and installing new tile flooring at Skyline High School.
The current Fritz tile flooring, installed when the school was built in 2007, in the auditorium entrance, community entrance and cafeterias of Skyline has developed cracks, according to Pamela McInnis, division superintendent.
With the Fritz tile flooring, once dirt becomes trapped in the cracks, it becomes very difficult if not impossible to remove. Adding to the problem, McInnis said, is the less than desirable appearance of mis-matched replacement tiles from a previous repair job.
At the time of construction, the Fritz tile was affordable, yet still comparable in quality and appearance with more expensive products, McInnis said.
"The problem is the Fritz tile is very hard, it doesn't have much bend to it," she explained during a special School Board meeting on Thursday. "Especially in high traffic areas, it just doesn't quite do the job."
After consulting with the project general contractor, Howard Shockey and Sons Inc., it was recommended that the Fritz tile be overlaid with vinyl composition tile.
While Shockey maintains that the original material used was as specified and approved by the school system and that it was installed in accordance with the project specifications as well as the manufacture's recommendations, the company is willing to provide, at no cost, the management and coordination of the project. Shockey also will cut down doors and raise floor drains as needed to accommodate the raised elevation of the new flooring.
As a goodwill gesture, Shockey also offered a $17,000 donation to the division to cover almost half of the project cost. In exchange for the donation, Shockey simply asked for written certification from the Warren County School Board that both Skyline High School and Warren County High School are completely and fully accepted in their current condition.
The remaining portion of the project cost, $17,988, will be requested from the Warren County Board of Supervisors from an existing proffer fund that is designated for school projects.
McInnis said that Shockey already has found a low bid for the project from Stafford Systems Inc, which happens to be the original installer of the floors.
"They're pretty much offering to do a lot of the work, at no cost to us," she said. "I don't see a reason for you not to approve the donation."
Shockey has estimated that the project will take three weeks at the most, though it most likely will take less time than that. The company would like to get started by Aug. 5 to ensure that installation is complete by the beginning of the school year.
The new vinyl composition tile floors are expected to be easier to clean, not crack as easily and last for many years to come. McInnis added that there won't a problem finding that kind of tile to "perfectly match" the other floors.
Catherine Bowers, School Board chairman, said she couldn't think of any reason not to accept the donation.
"It sounds like we're getting a better product for less money," she said.
Contact staff writer Kim Walter at 540-465-5137 ext. 191, or firstname.lastname@example.org