Just weeks after completing the turf at Ripley’s Memorial Stadium, a project that was planned, the Jackson County Board of Education is facing the possible unplanned replacement of the gymnasium floor at Ripley High School.

The situation was discussed Thursday, Sept. 20, during a regular meeting of the board at the administrative offices next to Ripley High School.

A sprinkler malfunction over the Labor Day holiday drenched the floor, causing standing water on at least one-third of the hardwood, Superintendent Blaine Hess said. Board member Dan Barnette said there’s no telling how deep the water may have penetrated into the subfloor.

The damage is currently being assessed by the board’s insurance company, who will have to determine the extent of what will be covered. Officials hope the insurance company will cover the replacement of the entire floor since a partial replacement might be more complicated and less effective.

If the insurance company does not decide to cover replacement of the entire floor, the board will have to determine whether to go with a partial replacement, or whether they will replace the entire floor and cover the difference.

“Obviously, we’ll be pushing to get the whole thing done,” Hess said.

The first basketball game of the season is set for Dec. 1, and replacing the floor could take weeks, he said. As a result, officials are hoping to move forward on the project as quickly as possible.

In other business:

The board approved the expenditure of $5,697 to remove glycol and refrigerant from a heat exchanger at Kenna Elementary School, as well as adding nitrogen and trace gas and performing a leak test.

Ever since Kenna Elementary School opened in 2014, the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system has been problematic, said board member James Frazier, who has substituted as principal at the school on occasion. Frazier noted from personal experience there are frequent large temperature variances from area to area within the building.

Assistant superintendent Dr. Keith Burdette said there are numerous reasons for the heating and cooling problems, ranging from problems with the installation to poor energy service.

“There’s a lot of blame to go around,” he said. “For a long time, it was hard to get people to own up to it being their problem.”

One of the chief problems has been fluctuating energy levels coming from the power grid, Burdette said. AEP is in the process of completing an infrastructure upgrade to the system in that area, which may help alleviate some of the troubles. However, there is still a concern as to how the surges and drops in power may be damaging the system at the school, he said.

The board approved the following personnel items:


Ruth Stover, custodian, Henry J. Kaiser Elementary School, effective Sept. 26

Teresa Suck, paraprofessional/aide, Henry J. Kaiser Elementary School, effective Nov. 26


Donald L. Smith, assistant boys track coach, Ripley Middle School, effective Sept. 17


Kevin Sears, from technology coach/coordinator, 240 days, to director of technology, 260 days, effective Sept. 24

Mary Rood, bus operator, transportation department, from route 22 to route 54, effective Sept. 21


Sarah Roark, teacher, family and consumer science, Ripley High School, effective Sept. 24

Warren Starcher, bus operator trainer, effective Sept. 21

Tabitha Martin, cafeteria manager/cook III, Ripley Elementary School, effective Sept. 21

Alyssa Boley, beginning teacher induction specialists at a rate of 18/hour effective for the 2018-2019 school term.