By John R. Schirmer
Two construction projects in the Nashville School District could be completed during the fall semester, members of the school board were told during their meeting Monday night, July 16.
Scott Howard of Howard Construction said the agri building should be finished by the end of the first nine weeks if things go as planned. The bus barn should be completed in December, he said.
The agri building originally was scheduled to be ready for the opening of school in August. However, issues with architect’s drawings and problems related to steel trade with Canada “left us at the mercy” of the company producing the building’s frame, Howard said.
The board approved the agri building and bus barn in June 2017, Superintendent Doug Graham said. “The original plan was to finish the drawings and have everything in place during the fall, then tear down the old building in December. It would take eight months to build the new facility, and it would be ready the first day of school. We’re not on that pace from a year ago.”
The concrete slab has been poured, and the walls are going up, Graham said.
Howard said the framework is now scheduled to arrive by Aug. 9. “The company keeps prolonging the dates.”
The architectural plans were resubmitted in June. “We couldn’t do anything until we had the anchor bolt drawings,” Howard said.
Crews are putting up the walls while they await the arrival of the framework.
Howard said the concrete for the bus barn will be poured soon, and the building framework should arrive Sept. 7.
Board members heard a number of other reports in a meeting lasting about 80 minutes.
Graham said asphalt work is underway on the circle drive at Nashville High School. Asphalt also has been applied to the remainder of the parking lot at Wilson Park.
Work began Monday on the new security system at Nashville Elementary. The project includes cameras
and a door-locking system.
The security systems at junior high and high school are nearing completion, Graham said.
The district ended its fiscal year June 30 with a balance of about $4.4 million, according to Graham.
“We spent about 77.7 percent of what we budgeted. That left us a cushion of about 23 percent. We have a very healthy balance,” Graham said.
Under state law, school districts may only carry 20 percent of their revenue into their balances. For Nashville, that will mean a balance of about $2.1 to $2.2 million. In the recently completed fiscal year, the district transferred $1.6 million into a building fund for the agri building and bus barn.
Part of the current balance will have to be transferred or spent, Graham said. “If we carry over too much, the state can hold that amount out” of state education funding for the district.
Members of the Nashville trap shooting team were recognized. Five of the team members were named state champions earlier this year in competition at Jacksonville.
“This team has represented the Nashville School District and our community so well. We’re proud they’re part of our school system,” Graham said.
Coach Vickie Cook said she is “looking forward to next year. Trap shooting takes a lot of dedication and focus. They practice and shoot in all kinds of weather. The only time they don’t shoot is during lightning. Competition will start back in February and go through May. State will be in June. The kids have been practicing during the summer.”
Graham said that since spring, “The community has really been following this group. They were in seven local tournaments and finished first, second or third in six of them. They were fourth in the other. Then they won the big one in Jacksonville. We can’t be any more proud than we are of you.”
Board president Mark Canaday presented plaques to the five members of the state championship team, including Hayden Goodson, Wren Washburn, Braden Smith, Tanner Harris and Landon Dyer.
Graham said the district’s proposed budget for 2018-19 likely will include more funding for the trap program. Board members will discuss the budget in a workshop next month before adopting it in a meeting Aug. 14.
In other business, the board approved the purchase of a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 work truck from York Gary Autoplex. It will replace a 1997 Dodge.
The board accepted a bid of about $46,300 from Regional Systems of Texarkana for a new intercom system at Nashville Junior High. The current intercom was purchased in 1994 and does not allow calls to or from the library, cafeteria and fieldhouse, Graham said. One hallway does not have intercom service.
“The main issue is safety. We can’t get the word out soon enough” in an emergency, Graham said.
The board approved model school policies from the Arkansas School Board Association.
Technology Director Bryce Petty presented the district’s Internet use policy, which the board approved. Petty also discussed the district’s ongoing compliance with the Child Internet Protection Act. The discussion is required by CIPA.
Nashville uses the “cisco Cloud Web Security service provided by and supported by the state of Arkansas to all participating Arkansas school districts free of charge,” Petty said. “We have been using this service for several years now and have been happy with it.”
The board approved a joint use agreement between Nashville Elementary School and the city of Nashville on a walking and biking trail.
The grant is for $30,500.
Graham said that Mayor Billy Ray Jones and the city are working on the legal agreement. “It will be a nice track to walk and bike. PE classes can use it. It will be a neat thing.”
The board approved a board-to-board transfers of a kindergarten student and a first grader from De Queen to Nashville. De Queen’s board earlier approved the transfers.
Graham said that board member Miles Mitchell has resigned effective July 16. Mitchell served on the board for 28 years. “We’re going to miss Miles Mitchell. We appreciate his time and years of service.”
The board has 30 days to appoint a successor to fill out the remainder of Mitchell’s term, which ends in May 2019. Mitchell represented Zone 4.
Following a brief executive session, the board hired Sandy Stanley as half-day special education teacher at elementary, Kim Alexander as teacher at junior high, and Viriana Gallardo as ESL aide at elementary.