Progress at the East Buchanan football field has been clipping along this summer, with the sod going down this week and last. It’s expected to be playable by the first game, which is just over 50 days away. Photo Courtesy of Doug Miller | EBHS
The East Buchanan C-1 Board of Education met Monday, July 19, where they received an update on construction at the football field and the elementary school by Superintendent Dr. John Newell.
Some members of the board raised concerns with the design aspects of the spectator stands. That included separation of one set of bleachers from the main stadium seating, as well as the possible need for stairs leading from the bleachers to the track area.
After more than a half hour of discussion, Board President Dean Walkup asked the board members and superintendent if they could walk to the stadium after business was concluded and physically see and discuss the concerns, to which the members agreed.
During the construction update, Dr. Newell went through changes to the elementary classrooms, security doors, building offices, superintendent’s office and more. The construction coordinator attending the meeting told the board that they were on target to complete work by the time school started, but with the COVID issue, some of the air handlers going on the building rooftops were coming to the site in different shipments. He said the timeline would be tight.
He also said he felt the sod should be rooted by the first football game, which is more than 50 days away. Half of the sod was laid last week but was halted due to the rain (the sod farm didn’t want to cut sod with a wet ground). The other half was laid on July 19.
The board took care of all normal business, approving the agenda and consent items. The board approved the low bid of $1.33 per gallon by Agriland for fuel this upcoming year. There was only one additional bid by MFA and that was for $1.47 per gallon.
The board also approved the payment to Barkley for resurfacing and striping the parking lots. Dr. Newell recommended this approval, stating the company worked well with the district and was very professional. He felt they did a good job. The board also transferred $300,000 from Fund I to Fund IV.
During the superintendent’s report, Dr. Newell informed the board that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education was pushing the district to enact an AMI Plan (Alternative Method of Instruction), to be used in case of school being missed. Dr. Newell told board members he has done so but did not necessarily want to utilize that plan for snow days, but if there was an outbreak of COVID in the district, this plan could be utilized.
Dr. Newell gave the board an update on improving the restrooms at the stadium and said that the tax rate hearing for the district would be held prior to the next month’s regular board meeting. He provided a visual of a possible upgrade for the front of the press box at the stadium. He said Dave Elms, the district’s athletic director (as well as the middle school principal), is working on a plan for community use of the new track.
Dr. Newell added that spreading and packing the milled asphalt in the parking lot for the bus barns seems to have resolved the water drainage problem that occurred with heavy rains.
He said Heidi Shoemaker, the new East Buchanan Director of Special Education the board had previously hired, would be starting July 20, and she is excited to get started.
Dr. Newell completed his report to the board by informing them that the district would not be sending out the paper mailer to patrons and community this year. He said this costs the district about $2,500 annually and he believed this was an outdated method of providing information.
He also said the staff has not had sufficient time to establish a before-and-after childcare program within the district. Currently, the concerns he listed were staffing, location and available space, and there was not sufficient time to resolve those issues prior to the start of school. He lamented that he felt the district should not undertake this matter, but if they did move forward, he wanted it to be a valuable program and not thrown together.
The date of the board work session is set for Monday, August 9, at 7 p.m., and the next monthly board meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 16, at 7 p.m., with the tax rate hearing prior to the meeting.
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