TUPELO • Tupelo Public School District has moved forward with several construction projects even as schools have remained closed due to COVID-19.
The largest is the $431,000 Church Street Elementary parking lot project that will include a new parking lot with 47 spaces and a new entrance and exit, replacing the one-lane road previously used for both entry and exit to the lot.
A wrought iron fence will also be installed around the perimeter, along with additional lighting and security gates that can be opened by employees with access cards.
TPSD Director of Operations Charles Laney said they’re currently in the process of doing dirt work for the lot, and the project should be completed within a month-and-a-half to two months.
Pierce Street Elementary is set to be re-roofed with a fluid-applied roofing system, which is a light roofing material that refracts heat and allows for a 20% reduction in energy costs. The roofing project will cost around $350,000 with architectural fees and all costs included, according to Laney.
Laney said around 85% of the district’s schools have a fluid-applied roof already, and the project should be completed in two or two-and-a-half months.
Lawhon Elementary’s C building will also be re-roofed, and canopy work will be done at Parkway Elementary, Carver Elementary and Rankin Elementary.
Repairs for cracked and uneven sidewalks will be completed to meet ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements at Tupelo High School, Tupelo Middle School, Rankin Elementary, Joyner Elementary, Lawndale Elementary, Lawhon Elementary and the Early Childhood Education Center.
There will also be repainting at Carver Elementary, Lawhon Elementary, Milam Elementary, Tupelo Middle School, Tupelo High School and the Hancock Leadership Center. The majority of the painting will be done inside schools, but some exterior painting will also take place at Lawhon and the high school.
Schools will also continue to be sanitized over the summer. After Servpro’s initial cleaning of all Tupelo schools during during March, Laney said campuses continue to be cleaned daily.
Laney and his staff were heavily involved in sanitization efforts in early May as Tupelo High School held individual graduation ceremonies for 475 graduates at five locations across the district.
The auditoriums in use were fogged with CDC-recommended disinfectant before use, and janitorial and school staff sanitized commonly touched surfaces between the arrival of each family for ceremonies.
“I’d like to thank all of our staff, especially our maintenance staff, that were involved in graduation because they went above and beyond, being able to get five sites ready for graduation to take place,” Laney said.
He added that the high school staff did an excellent job of maintaining social distancing and making sure everything looked flawless while keeping everyone safe.