ROSBORO – The Centerpoint School District finished the 2014-2015 school year with approximately 1 million dollars more than at the close of the previous school year.
“I’m not confident, but I’m a little more comfortable with where we are,” said Centerpoint Superintendent Dan Breshears.
Breshears said all the salaries were paid through the new year – one of the districts’ biggest expenses and that unless the district came across some unexpected expenditures, they would “end the year with a fairly healthy balance.”
The building fund for the new school is at $5.8 million.
“That’s good, but we’re about to start seeing that change,” Breshears said, indicating the process of constructing the new school would soon begin in earnest.
The school has advertised for bids in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, the Amity Standard and the Glenwood Herald as well as several different trade websites, and the bidding process will be open for two weeks, culminating in the opening of bids on July 14 at 2:00 p.m. at the high school cafeteria.
Breshears recently met with the architect and the construction manager.
“There were still a few surprises, and the architect is still in some ways trying to provide us with a Cadillac where we need a Chevy, so I keep pressing back on that. I’m leaving some of the Cadillac stuff in there, because we want to have a nice building.”
The new school currently projects to be slightly over budget – $10.4 million in cost with a $10 million budget — but Breshears has faith that some of the bids may come in under projections, and if not, the school can “value engineer” some items and remove some others.
Breshears said that he was trying to avoid the practice of value engineering as much as possible, for often it resulted in a 30 cent loss on every anticipated dollar.
“That’s just the way it is, and it’s not unusual,” Breshears assured the board.
The water situation for the new school is “back where we started,” with the school possibly facing the need for an approximately $20,000 booster pump.
“We’ve been all around the world – up to almost half a million dollars in our water problems, but we’re looking at the pressure,” said Breshears, noting that the State Fire Marshall had not yet given their final blessing to the project.
“I don’t anticipate any problems, we just haven’t gotten it back yet.”
Former district ELL Coordinator Penny Smothers will be replaced by Michelle Spray, who due to more office time, will be paid a $500 stipend as opposed to the previous $1,000.
“I am giving her a responsibility that is very important and I feel like it is worthy of a stipend,” said Breshears.
Upon a question by boardmember Dickie Johnson, Breshears reported that more students were eating in the cafeteria, and unlike in the past, the food service account wouldn’t have to be bailed out with operating funds from the general account. In fact, after reimbursements occur, the account could be to the positive.
However, Breshears said that the recent avian flu outbreak would affect the cost and availability of eggs, chicken and turkey as commodities in the 2015-2016 school year.
“Those costs will affect what we serve,” said Breshears.
The board additionally approved a bevy of policy changes.
The board then unanimously approved two purchase over $10,000 — $42,011.20 from CDWG for 176 HP Stream 2 laptops at $220 each that is being funded by a grant from the Olds Foundation, as well as $12,250 to clean, repair, reseal and repaint the high school parking lot by B&L Paving Inc from Royal/Ogden.
“If we don’t repair and reseal it now, it will cost a lot more late with what we’ll have to do to it,” said Breshears before the vote.
The board adopted a resolution to request no election from the Pike County Election Commission, as provided by state law, should no extra millage is being requested and no contested seats are set for the board.
“If there is nothing at stake, so it doesn’t cost anything and will save us some money,” added Breshears.
Progressive Therapy will again serve as the district’s Occupational and Physical Therapy providers at the following rates: $72/hour for a physical therapist, $54.50 for physical therapist assistant, $68.50/hour for occupational therapists and $54.50/hours for occupational therapist assistants.
Mary Jo Morrison of Little Rock will also continue to provide speech therapy at $72/hour, but she will continue to charge no mileage for her services.
Breshears also told the board of his intention to put up signs — as heard in the Glenwood City Council last week — in Amity and Glenwood.
“Basically to say “Centerpoint Knights welcome you to Amity/Glenwood, and then we’re going to list our website address and some of the major accomplishments of the district,” Breshears said. “Really it’s just to promote ourselves and the communities, and we’re not going to spend a whole lot of money on it, and I’m still trying to figure out the method that will allow up to update it as we get more championships and things happening, where we can add to it.”
The board was told that the City Council of Amity had agreed to take over the former Amity High School trophies — much like the City Glenwood recently — and will take ownership of the and find a spot to house them for public display. The old Glenwood High School trophies will be displayed at the Chamber of Commerce’s depot location.
“Those are just two projects that don’t need to be tied into the school, but they are history and part of the community,” said boardmember Dickie Johnson.
The board will approve a measure to make it official next month to put the trophies under the “care and taking of the Amity community,” said Breshears.
The board approved the following personnel moves:
• Summer school teachers: Pasha Ausley, Jennifer Hill, Tish Tucker, Margaret Sims, Jackie Tucker, Melynda Bryant, Cynthia Sparks, Myra Ligon
• Summer school food service personnel: Dana Weeks, Sheila Evans
• Sarah Sweeney — summer school bus route driver.
• John Dubose — summer Prep Academy bus driver.
• John Bright — summer Driver’s Ed. teacher.
• Betty Copeland and Regina Garner as a 200 day custodians.
• Virginia Rider as a 240 day custodian
• James Waldon as a long route driver
• Katrina Miller, Pasha Ausley, Tish Tucker, Matthew Baxley
• Michelle Hogan for the position Elementary Special Education teacher
• Taylor (Quast) Marsh and Casey Fiedler as Elementary classroom teachers
• Brittany Wood for the position of Middle School classroom teacher for the 15-16 School Year.