Supt Mark Koca gives year end report

On Friday, the Sun spoke with El Dorado Springs R-II Supt. Mark Koca about the construction improvements to the school in the past months.

Q. I wanted to ask you how the new things at the school are working and what the future plans might be.

“The elevator is in operation and has been for a couple of months.”

Q. How’s it working?

“It’s working fine. It’s been a blessing to those kids that are in wheel chairs and walkers. We haven’t  had a whole lot of calls for patron use of it yet.”

“It’s a wonderful thing for moving equipment from floor to floor instead of breaking the backs of my maintenance crew. It’s especially handy for moving pianos.”

“The teachers are thrilled to death at getting kids to class on time. It’s just been a good thing.”

Q. How are the two gyms working out?

“We couldn’t be happier with that set up. It’s super nice to be able to play four games in one evening and not stretch the games out past 10:30 like we used to. It’s very handy for supervision as well, having everything right there in one location. Pretty nice.”

Q. I like the design of the new gym because people go up to the hallway to get to the snack bar instead of walking in front of everyone.

“Exactly. And it keeps a lot of dirt off our gym floor, too. We don’t track in near the mess on the floor because we have all those people coming in from outside tracking directly onto your gym floor.”

Q. Do you have some new bleachers ordered for the upper gym or is it just handrails?

“We are looking at the possibility of doing that next year. We haven’t ordered anything yet. It’s a pretty expensive proposition. We are actually opening bids this month on getting the floor redone in the upper gym. We were going to do it two years ago and then held off because of the construction.”

Q. That’s the one where you have a lot of flooring wood left?


Q. What’s the lifespan on the upper gym floor?

“We should get a hundred years out of it. It’s 50 years old already. That floor was put down in 1968 maybe 1967.”

Q. What else you got going on?

“The music classes are going to move into their rooms  over break – vocal music and band. The kids are loving it especially vocal music. It’s the first time in 50 years they really had an adequate space to practice.  Now they have room for the risers plus a set of chairs at the same time. It’s amazing.”

Q. What else is going on?

“In the next two or three weeks, we are going to work on getting the equipment for the Middle School weight room moved out of storage and into its new space. And then we’ll start working on getting the old weight room converted back into an industrial technology lab, probably over the summer.”

“We actually moved the High School weight room to the old band room last summer while we had the walls torn out. That way we didn’t have to disassemble any of that equipment. So, it’s already moved and has been functioning the whole year.”

Q. All that sounds good. What else do you have going?

“Just trying to get through the basketball season. That’s business as usual. “

“The main entrance to the building (from the east) seems to be working out pretty well. Everybody seems to like the entrance and the way it looks. We had some kids here from another school. When they got off the bus, they said, ‘Wow. This is like a college.’ ”

“On the west side (of the High School) now, the next phase in this whole process is to get the High School building locked down. In the next four to six weeks we will install the new set of doors inside the west entrance  to the High School (by the HS office) that will let us secure all our entrances into the building. So we’ll be locked down from north to south. It’s the last step in this process we started about five years ago.”

Q. Do you have a new school resource officer yet?

“No, we’ve got some interviews set up over the next couple of weeks. The sheriff will hire the individual but we will help interview.”

“Have you seen the latest constituency  letter from Vicky Hartzler? I like what she said about possible funding for school resource officers, because it is really a financial strain on us right now. My concern is if we hire one, they will say, ‘You’ve figured out how to get it done. We are going to put that money somewhere else.’ We’ll see how that plays out.”

Q. Anything else in your short or long term plans?

“My goal right now is to get all the little tweaks done with this building. See where we are and regroup over the summer, get everybody moved to their new location. Get everybody settled in. I don’t anticipate any major building projects in the near future. Just maintenance things – roofs and air conditioners. That will be a never ending expense”

“We’ve got a system we’ve been using over the last several years on flat roofs that’s really been working good for us. The beauty of it is – it’s not a high tech system that we can’t repair ourselves. If we find a leak, we can very easily repair it without having to call anybody from an outside company. It’s a little more expensive to put down but it gives us that option down the road.”

Q. What’s the name of it?

“We’re working with Tremco. It’s a reroof system. It’s basically a coating that goes over existing roofs. It’s got a layer of liquid urethane, pressed fiberglass mat in it. Then come back on top of it with a 30 mil layer of  aliphatic resin of some sort.  It makes a really tough membrane on top of the old roof. It’s white on top so it saves us some energy dollars in the summer time. We’ve had good luck with it so far. We used it on three different project so far and will probably do some more.”

Q. How much roof do you have left to do?

“About half a million dollars worth.”

Q. How long?

“I’ve been chipping away at it about $60,000 or $70,000 a year so another five or six years. I’m trying to avoid borrowing money to fix roofs. It’s really a bad idea to borrow money to do repairs. Instead of borrowing money to fix air conditioners, we’ve been replacing them as they fail and hopefully down the road that means they won’t all die at the same time.”

Q, How are the new air conditioners by the gym working.?

“Great. And a lot quieter than the old ones. “