Doorways plaguing Bowlus

Register City Editor

Register/Anne Kazmierczak
Recent wet and windy weather sent a storm surge of sorts inside the lobby of the Bowlus Fine Arts Center. Rain was pushed under the heavy front doors of the Center, across the terrazzo entryway and into the vinyl-tile clad lobby. Tiles have curled and lifted from the floor and will need replacing, said Bowlus Director Susan Raines. However, since the damage is within the building, the Center’s insurance — which covers only external, structural damage — can not be tapped to replace the flooring, she said. Raines hopes donations can be found to help fund repairs to the damaged flooring.

A freak “nor’easter” in early August blew rain in under the front doors of the Bowlus Fine Arts Center and ruined some of the tiles in its foyer, Don Burns, district maintenance supervisor, told USD 257 board members, sitting as Bowlus trustees, Monday night.
The encased asbestos tiles have since started to peel off, necessitating immediate replacement.
Burns proposed either to replace the tiles with the terrazzo that is in the entryway between the two sets of doors into the foyer or with a poured epoxy solution. For the coming weekend’s Kansas Gospel Jubilee, Bowlus officials plan to cover the ruined tiles with large carpets.
He had no cost estimates for either, but said he would have bids soon.
Over the years of the 46-year-old building the front doors have shifted, Burns said, allowing seepage like this to occur.
All of the doors to the building — on the north, east and south sides — have suffered from wear and tear, making them disfigured and difficult to open.
To the doors on the south and east, repairs will entail remounting of hinges and welding new steel to the bottoms of the doors and then applying automotive clear-coat to protect the metal from moisture and prevent rust.
“Replacement would cost about $40,000 for both sides, but we think repairs, costing about $20,000, will be as good and last for years,” Burns said.
“The remainders of the frames and doors themselves basically are OK,” Burns said.
Burns said ice-melt used on the front landing has eroded the metal on the front doors. He proposed this year to use a non-corrosive spray that would be applied prior to when ice and snow were expected. The stuff is expensive, running $25 a gallon, and would be used only for the more elaborate front doors.
Susan Raines, Bowlus executive director, said she later would appraise trustees of costs for the front entrance work and give funding options.

THE 20-MINUTE audience with trustees served as the Bowlus annual meeting.
Raines reviewed operating and performance budgets. Operations costs are forecast at $324,465.51 this school year, about $67,000 less than 2008-09. The reduction means fewer capital improvements to the 46-year-old building, down by more than $64,000 from $70,500 to $6,278.69.
The Bowlus has lost $22,000 from income on interest and dividends compared to the previous year. Also, the contract with USD 257 is $126,271, a cut of more than $5,000 against last year.
The projects budget for this year is about $74,000 less than last year, at $287,876.
Jim Gilpin, a member of the Investment Committee, said interest and dividend reductions were to be expected with the financial woes that beset the country the past 18 months. He noted Bowlus stocks and bonds market values declined 10.38 percent to $1.23 million as of July 31.
Raines said Fred Works and Judy Cochran had completed six years on the Bowlus Commission, the limit for membership, and asked that Fred Heismeyer and Jane Works, Humboldt, be appointed. Trustees approved the recommendation. They also agreed to permit the Friends of the Bowlus to continue to use the Bowlus name.