Arkansas school working to make old school more efficient

TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) – Renovations are underway at the Trumann Intermediate School, which is the former high school building, to replace doors, windows, ceiling tile and electric wiring.

According to Superintendent Joe Waleszonia, the district is using a combination of state and federal funding to renovate the building to make it more energy efficient.

Waleszonia said the old high school building costs an average of $16-18,000 each month in utility bills compared to just $12,000 per month at the new high school building. Waleszonia said the new high school doesn't use energy like the older building does.

"We are in the process of putting all new doors, all new windows, all new insulation, all new ceiling tile, rewiring the electrical wire and the technology wire," said Waleszonia. "It's going to be a long term project. It's probably going to take us till next summer to get through with it."

Waleszonia said the district will spend an estimated $2.1 million on projects to be complete by the end of 2011.

Click here for more details on projects at the Trumann School District.

"It will modernize us and that was one of the things when we built the high school was part of the plan," said Waleszonia.

Waleszonia said he hopes the renovations will help save the district an estimated $4,000 per month on utility bills.

"We're hoping that we can save some on electric bills there and certainly if you save on energy, that's operating funds so that leaves more money to deal with for other areas," said Waleszonia. "General operating fund is the money that the school board has control over and we can basically use that for whatever we choose to use it for. Categorical money would be money such as special education, Title 1 funding, those types of things are categorical. You can only use those for certain things."

The old high school was built in 1949. Since then, many other wings have been added to the building, increasing utility and maintenance costs.

©2010 KAIT All rights reserved.