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Board OKs new breezeway for center

Elementary Principal Holly Dewey recognized Elementary students and teachers of the month during the Tuesday night school board meeting. Pictured back row from left is Jodi O'Cain, Dewey and Linda Browning. Front row from left are Alyssa Hearon and Gabe Bissland. (Allison Goodman)
Elementary Principal Holly Dewey recognized Elementary students and teachers of the month during the Tuesday night school board meeting. Pictured back row from left is Jodi O'Cain, Dewey and Linda Browning. Front row from left are Alyssa Hearon and Gabe Bissland. (Allison Goodman)

In a unanimous vote during Tuesday night’s meeting, the Lonoke School Board approved to add a covered breezeway between the old gym and the new Gina Cox Center back into the construction project.

Because the district has had saving on the construction of the Gina Cox Center, Clayton Vaden with Lewis Architects Engineers presented a number of items for the board to consider before construction of the facility is completed.Vaden said because of the savings, adding additional items would not be considered a change order as they will fall under the original contract amount, with the exception of the video boards.

Although Vaden didn’t have the exact figures, he said cost of adding the breezeway would around $35,500. Other items he asked the board to begin thinking of adding or excluding, included burglar alarms, data cabling, phone systems, padding on the bleachers, office furniture, dining room tables, ticket counters in the lobby, court and wall graphics and installation of video boards in the gym.

“We don’t have to do anything and still open the building as usual,” Vaden said.

Vaden said the board may want to locally bid out the cabling, alarm and phone system installation, but if they are wanting to add items like furniture or video boards they should begin making a decision as these items will need to be ordered in advance. He said if the board chooses to not go with the video boards at this time, the building will already be set up so they can be installed later. Vaden said the board might want to consider the video boards because they can potentially be used as a graphic training tool and different things than just at basketball games.

“It would be much more than that,” Vaden said. “It would be a benefit … other than just athletics.”

Superintendent Suzanne Bailey ask the board to allow her time to prioritize the items and present them in an upcoming meeting. Other than the breezeway addition, no action was taken.

Vaden also gave an update on construction.

“Everything in scope of the building is on time,” Vaden said.

He said everything is running smoothly and on schedule. Vaden said in mid-April they will be closing the alley, turning the power on and get the mechanical units running. He said 60 percent of the painting is complete. According to Vaden, if everything stays on schedule, they will start on gymnasium floor April 27 and begin installing bleachers in June which will be a two- to three -week process.

Elementary Principal Holly Dewey recognized elementary students and teachers of the month. Fourth-grade student Gabe Bissland received the male student of the month. Fifth-grade student Alyssa Hearon is the female student of the month. Classified staff member of the month was Linda Browning and Jodi O’Cain was recognized as the licensed staff member of the month.

Three student leadership presentations were presented to the board. Bradley Graves presented his idea for starting a Literacy Intuitive Club for Kids (LICK) to help improve reading levels and to enhance comprehension and fluency. Graves said without effective reading skills, students cannot grasp concepts of their core classes.

Bradley Aycock’s presented his Energy Audit Project to help save money for the district. Aycock said with the assistance of his father, he found numerous areas in the middle school building where seals around doors and windows are allowing cool air to enter the building. He provided pictures from a thermal imaging camera, which showed cooler temperatures around seals in need of replacement. According to Aycock, the district can also save money by replacing outdoor lights with fluorescent or LED bulbs as well as making sure circuits in the building are not being overloaded.

Taijee Bunch presented his vision for starting a “Glee” club, also know as a show choir. Bunch said by starting the club, students are benefited because in promotes self-esteem and confidence. He said it also give students the opportunity to grow as musicians. By opening the club to middle and high school students, he said they can hold more concerts and attend competitions. Other ways Bunch said the club could benefit others would be by raising funds by preforming on behalf of the food shelter.

In other district business, maintenance director Mark Hobson presented the board with janitorial figures. Hobson said the district will be down two custodians, leaving only eight at the end of the year. The district currently operates with three custodians at the primary school, three at the elementary and four at the middle school. The high school is serviced out through SG360 janitorial service.

The figured presented to the board was to compare the cost of hiring new in housed custodial staff versus allowing the districts SG360 janitorial service to take over more duties. Hobson said the cost of the school hiring a custodial staff of 8 for the high school, Elementary school and Gina Cox Center would cost the district $384, 182, which does not include hiring two additional custodians for the middle school, Hobson said. He said SG360 janitorial service has agreed to do all three building for $372,436. Bailey said she spoke with the company and negotiated the cost down from $96,780 to $92,000 for the elementary school, bringing the total to $367,656. With a saving of $16,526 per year the board voted unanimously to to go with SG360 janitorial services for the three buildings.

According to Hobson, this will not replace any of the current staff. He said the three custodians at the elementary school will be moved to the middle school.

Also during the meeting, the board unanimously approved:

•The resignations of Vanessa Davis.

•The retirement of Janice Hill, Ross Moore, Nancy Brown, Gwen Givens and Julia Fletcher.

•The 2013-2014 school calendar as presented

•Extend the contract with Jarrod Law and Leaf Service for one year, effective April 1.

Karl Pennington and Matt Boyles were absent from the meeting. The next regular scheduled meeting will be at 6 p.m. on April 15 in the administration building.

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