Southwest Arkansas Radio
NASHVILLE – With the Nashville High School cafeteria project nearing completion, the school board is considering future projects as well as out-sourcing the cafeteria service. Nashville School Superintendent Doug Graham said a request for proposal has been completed and that several other details need to be worked out before the proposal would open in late March. The school board will consider bids at the April meeting if all goes to plan. Nashville school board members gave approval at Tuesday’s meeting to proceed with the proposal process. Superintendent Graham has met with two different outsourcing companies that both would work to meet the needs of the district and students. He told board members that the benefit to outsourcing the cafeteria would be the savings on food and equipment. The food service department for the past year or two has been operating at a loss. The number of students eating lunch is slowly increasing, however Food Service Director Julie Smith says there is still room for improvement. “Only 70 percent of students on free and reduced lunches are eating, with state requirements dictating that 80 percent
of those students should be eating meals.”
Superintendent Graham gave an update on construction projects and said that the high school cafeteria project is 95 percent complete. The school board took a tour of the new facility following the board meeting.
“We are excited as the high school renovation nears completion, the students are already utilizing the new facility. It is a 1.8 million project that has been under construction for a little over a year. The first major function will be the Rotary Football Banquet on January 31. That will give the public an opportunity to see the new facility. We also hope to host a chamber of commerce coffee in the near future.”
The new dining hall has a stage that can be removed to allow additional seating and audio/visual equipment has been installed. Graham says the high school is still seeking grant funding to fix up the old band hall next door into a cafe that can be utilized by the business department.
A new floor has been installed in the old gymnasium. A water leak damaged the old flooring and insurance has paid for the new floor, as well as a new roof.
For future construction, Graham says the school board is looking at constructing two new classrooms at the primary campus.
“The board authorized the architect to draw up plans for two new classrooms at Nashville Primary. The state has already approved the project and will pay fifty four percent of the project. It’s a great opportunity for us to add some much needed space, right now they are doubling up in classrooms. When the architect gets finished we will turn the project over to Howard Construction. They will come back to the board with a price and timeline. At that time the board will make a final decision on whether or not to proceed with the project.”
The board accepted the resignation of Heidi Graham as special education paraprofessional and hired Jessica Hostetler to fill the position. Another resignation included Charles Marshall of the in-school suspension program, effective at the end of the year. The board also extended Superintendent Graham’s contract through the 2018-2019 school year. There will be no change to his salary.