Baker High upgrades outlined

Baker High School needs more than $4 million in repairs and upgrades, according to a new report by Baton Rouge engineering consulting firm Volkert Inc.

The Baker School Board agreed in August to pay the company $10,000 to assess facilities at the 62-year-old school and determine what improvements were necessary.

The board received the report from the firm Tuesday night but did not discuss it. Board President Elaine Davis reported that the person who had been scheduled to present the assessment to the board was out of town. The discussion was postponed until the next board meeting.

The assessment characterized the high school facilities as “fair to poor” and added that “deficiencies were noted in all buildings.”

Drainage, roof leaks, moisture infiltration, damaged or nonfunctioning restrooms, nonfunctioning equipment, Americans with Disabilities Act noncompliance issues, inadequate fire alarm systems and limited security systems were among the problems cited in the report.

Many windows are painted over, resulting in inadequate lighting, especially in Smiley Hall, which serves as the girls physical education building. Other windows are covered with plywood, according to the report.

Wedge Kyes Stadium, home to the Baker High athletic teams, has concrete seating “deemed unsafe given the large openings between the actual seats and walkways or footrests.”

The report added that “the concession area is not operational and in such poor condition that goods are prepped and sold from the Locker Rooms.” The locker room showers in the stadium are also nonfunctional, according to the assessment.

McDonnell auditorium is condemned due to the possible presence of asbestos in the building. The assessment rated the interior of the building “in very poor condition.”

The report recommended improvements to all campus buildings including window and door replacement, ceiling tile replacement, restroom renovations, exterior and interior painting, installation of campus-wide security and intercom systems, pavement repairs, stadium seating replacement and roof repairs.

Other business coming before the board included:

NEW OFFICERS: Board members voted unanimously to elect Shona Boxie as their president for 2013. Boxie succeeds Elaine Davis as head of the board.

Board members elected Dana Carpenter to be vice president by a 3-2 vote.

Boxie, who served as vice president during 2012, nominated Carpenter for the post and the move was seconded by Davis.

Board member Troy Watson countered by nominating herself for the position. Her motion was seconded by Doris Alexander.

Davis, Carpenter and Boxie voted for Carpenter as vice president. Alexander and Watson voted for Watson.