WATER VALLEY – Tuesday, March 19, will be a big day for voters in the Water Valley School District as a $6.5 million bond to fund school improvements will be on the ballot. The proposed work includes significant upgrades at both campuses to address issues ranging from safety and security to heating and cooling as part of a lengthy checklist to improve the school’s infrastructure and education in Water Valley.
At Davidson Elementary School (DES) the work includes a façade upgrade on portions of the buildings as well as a new office and connector between existing buildings, which will create a more defined entrance and enhance curb appeal. Also planned are new HVAC systems for all classrooms. The fifth and sixth grade classrooms, which are located in the oldest building in the district (constructed in 1961 to house Davidson High School), are currently heated using gas wall heaters or radiators that were installed over 40 years ago, and are cooled using window units.
The HVAC work in the newer building at DES (kindergarten to fourth grade) will replace aging hydronic heaters installed when the building was constructed in 1981, a system that has become costly to maintain in recent years.
New windows will also be installed at DES, an energy upgrade and replacement for old windows that are fogged. Exterior doors will also be replaced to improve safety for the students. Bathrooms will also be updated at DES with the exception of the kindergarten wing, which is the newest addition at the school.
The work at DES also includes refinishing the floor in the kitchen, improvements to the gym that include upgrading the bleachers, installing new windows and lighting, refinishing the floor and installing a HVAC unit which will heat and cool the gym. Currently the gym does not have air conditioning.
The proposed work also extends outside the elementary school campus as plans address drainage issues as well as resurfacing and repairing the parking area, which will allow an upgraded traffic flow to be implemented which will improve the safety when students are dropped off and picked up at school.
The list is shorter at the high school, as over $2 million in improvements have been made at the campus in the last eight years, an investment in windows and HVAC at the campus. The proposed work includes a façade upgrade with a parapet wall that extends across the front of the buildings. This upgrade will also enhance security, safety and accessibility at the high school and provide a common aesthetic for both campuses.
Work at the high school also includes an expansion to the kitchen area and replacing the main cooler, adding a new center entrance as well as driveway and parking lot repairs, installing a new roof on the gym that will be similar to the band hall, exterior door upgrades to improve safety for the students, and adding a new canopy and upgraded crossing between the high school and junior high buildings.
Depending on the final bid cost, the checklist at the high school could also include a new connector to the CTE building, drainage work and the addition of two new classroom that will house computer labs.
The plans also include building a new concession stand and ADA accessible bathroom that will be on the same level as the press box on the home side of the football stadium.
The election is scheduled from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 19 at the Water Valley courthouse, which will be the sole precinct for the election. Absentee voting is already underway at the Circuit Clerk’s office in the Water Valley courthouse. For the referendum to pass, 60 percent of the voters who vote in the election must vote in favor of the bond issue. Only registered voters who live in the Water Valley School District are eligible to vote in the election.