Gainesville school officials have called a special meeting for Thursday morning to address repairs to the water tower controls that maintain the heat and air conditioning mechanisms at New Holland Knowledge Academy.
Board members scheduled Thursday’s meeting for 7:15 a.m. prior to attending the Eggs & Issues Breakfast featuring Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and the Hall County-Gainesville legislative delegation. The Eggs & Issues event at the Gainesville Civic Center starts at 7:30 a.m.
Gainesville Schools Superintendent Wanda Creel said Wednesday that the school district’s maintenance staff found out last week that the water tower controls were not functioning. She said their efforts to get the system back up and running were unsuccessful.
Rather than wait until the board meets again Jan. 2, Creel said officials decided to take advantage of having a majority of the board attending the Eggs and Issues event to meet and approve the repair expense at New Holland.
Any non-budgeted request exceeding $10,000 needs the board’s approval, according to board chairwoman Delores Diaz. She said the repair work is expected to cost approximately $26,000.
After confirming that the water tower controls were out, the district’s outside resource that supports systems controls at various schools recommended that they be replaced during the winter break when New Holland students, faculty and staff are out of school, Creel told The Times.
“Additionally, the fear is that if we wait too long and the water in the tower freezes the cost of repairs will be extremely higher than the cost to repair the current issues,” Creed said. “Since the winter weather is fast approaching, we saw this as an opportunity to be proactive and ensure that our facilities are well-maintained.”
The problems at new Holland are strictly related to the heat and air conditioning system and are not disrupting the use of water fountains and restrooms at New Holland.
“Without the ability to run the water through the towers, we would not be able to maintain heat and/or air,” Creel said.
New Holland, located at 170 Barn St., is an elementary school with an enrollment of more than 800 students.