Secure And Decorative Fence Sought For Phs

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Candy cane spikes or squares? The new fence around Payson High School will likely feature decorative wrought iron-like shapes, along with a chain link.

Preliminary estimates have the fence costing anywhere from $40,000 to $50,000, Arcadis construction manager Henry Halikowski told the school board Monday night.

However, board members suggested various improvements that could raise the cost to the neighborhood of $75,000, Super-intendent Casey O’Brien said.

The suggested improvements included fencing around the dome so that kids can’t “ski” down the roof.

“It’s caused damage,” said board member Rory Huff.

Board member Richard Meyer suggested fixing a drainage problem near the “C” building before installing the fence. A steep slope means water slides into the building during heavy rainfall. He wants to fix the drainage problem before installing the fence to avoid digging up the fence to later fix the problem.

Board member Matt Van Camp suggested candy cane spikes bent to the outside as an intruder barrier.

The fence is supposed to keep people out just as much as it’s meant to keep high school students in, he said. If people can still climb in, the fence would be a waste of money.

“Matt, you’ve got to realize there is still chain link,” said board member Barbara Underwood. An intruder could just walk around to a chain link section and climb in from there.

Board member Viki Holmes said a clear policy and clear punishment would be integral in enforcing the high school’s new closed campus policy for freshmen. Punishments have yet to be outlined.

Building a fence became more urgent after the board decided in October to close campus for freshmen during lunch. District and high school officials have frequently cited the porous campus as a safety hazard and a tragedy waiting to happen.

Halikowski said he was meeting Tuesday with the two prospective fencing companies, Strawberry Mountain Fence Company and Payson Fence Company, for further discussions. A formal proposal hasn’t yet been made, however, Halikowski initially suggested square tubing on the fence to avoid the liability of spikes.

He said the fence would not be ready for the start of school. Huff initially called the timing a “dilemma,” and said it’s nearly impossible to run a closed campus without a fence.

O’Brien, however, said he talked with high school administrators who were “tickled” that a fence would finally be built at all.

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