New High School Under Consideration

The Lewis County Board of Education met in regular session on Monday, March 11, 2019 in the Board Meeting Room on South Court Street. All members were present: Chairman Phyllis Townsend, Vice Chair Glenda Atkinson, Ritchie Brewer, Johnny Clayton, Derek Cotham, Cassie Couch, Lindsey Himes, Marti Lomax and Nancy McDonald.

Atkinson made a motion the minutes from the February 12, 2019 meeting be amended under announcements to state, “Ms. McDonald motioned to the board the possibility of raising the board’s portion of teacher insurance from 70 percent to 85 percent. Ritchie Brewer seconded the motion but since the item was not added to the agenda a vote could not be taken.

“The board decided to put the figures on the table and discuss the feasibility of raising the board’s portion of teacher insurance or funding raises for all school employees.

“Chairman Townsend stated a special called meeting would be held in April to go over the fundings to determine what could be done.

“Ms. Couch requested the March 12, 2019 be moved to another date due to the conflict with parent-teachers conferences being held on March 12th.  After much discussion, Mrs. Townsend announced the next regular scheduled meeting will be moved to March 11, 2019.”

McDonald seconded the motion then the consent agenda with the change in the February meetings and and the adoption of the agenda were approved.

Director Benny Pace stated the high school prom date has been changed to April 26, 2019. The prom was originally scheduled for May 3, 2019 but had to be changed due to a schedule conflict.

He invited Board members to attend the annual Retired Teachers’ luncheon on March 20, 2019 beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Matt Buckner from the EDT Engineer Corporation has completed the assessment on the high school roof and the high school football press box. Director Pace said he had not received his assessment.

Upon motion by Atkinson and seconded by Cotham, board policies 1.400, 3.201, 4.406, 6.203, 1.803, 4.209

were approved with the exception of amending board policy 1.400 which was put into motion by Ms. Couch and seconded by Mrs. Himes to be amended.

All board members approved the purchase of parcel of land and tower for radio communication.

Upon motion by Clayton and seconded by Lomax, the 2019-2020 School Calendar was approved.

Director Pace passed out to each board member a copy of the fund balance sheet for capital outlays. He explained to the board how the local match dollars and state share dollars are included in the fund balance. He also informed members that some of the funds are already obligated to other programs, a portion is assigned for capital outlay and there are dollars that are unassigned. He explained that the assigned for capital outlay dollars are available to start the process to build a new high school. He suggested the unassigned dollars be held to use for other projects that may be necessary. Mr. Pace also stated that the portion that is restricted for education could be used to make a payment on the new high school.

Director Pace suggested that the board invite Ron Bargatze, Hewlett Spencer, LLC project executive, to the next board meeting to give the board more in-depth information about the process of construction and financial responsibilities for the new high school. He stated that Bargatze has previously attended one of the board meetings in the past and was very interested in talking with the board. Mr. Pace explained that the building project would have to be bid out and that we would have no obligations to him.

Mr. Pace ask Bobby Page to explain to the board the difference between hiring an architect firm and a construction management team for the construction of the building project.

Board members expressed they would like to proceed with the process of building a new high school and felt that inviting Bargatze to the next board meeting would be very beneficial.

Vice Chairman Atkinson suggested that a special called meeting be scheduled to discuss employee benefits for all employees of the Lewis County Board of Education. McDonald suggested that April 1, 2019 date be set for the special called members. All board members indicated that they would be able to attend on this date. The special called meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

Lomax explained to the board that there would be a conflict with her attending the regular scheduled meeting in April and asked if the meeting could be changed to another date. She stated that she would be available on April 15, 2019. Board members stated they could all be there that date. Chairman Townsend announced the next regular meeting will be scheduled for April 15, 2019.

Board members and others attending the meeting were invited to take a tour of the Lewis County Middle School immediately following the adjournment of the meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 6:30 p.m.

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