On Tuesday in the lobby of the WCHS, the School Board met and mingled with newly elected government officials for a meet and greet. Brochures with each board member and each school’s contact info was provided while the officials snacked on an assortment of refreshments.
The new 11 county commissioners were given the opportunity to ask questions while each member of the School Board was introduced. Hot topic questions concerning dress code, zoning and budgeting were among those most frequently asked.
“What do you do with all your BEP (Basic Education Program) money,” asked 10th District Commissioner Cole Taylor.
Answered Director of Schools Bobby Cox, “It’s a funding formula. It’s not necessarily a spending plan. For the money, we spread that out across the district, so we have about 100 teachers above the BEP that we pay fully that meet class size maximum because the BEP only funds about 70 percent. So 70 percent we get from BEP and the other 30 percent we get from the county or federal government.”
Board member Teddy Jones also said a few words and encouraged everyone to ask questions.
“We all love Warren County and we all have differences,” said Jones. “We are men and women, Democrats and independents, but we all want to do something good for our community. When I started on the board, I had the same type of questions y’all have and Bobby gives the same patient answers every time to let us know.”
Added Cox, “Use us to help you because we are all in this together. Let’s work together on these things.”
Afterward, members of the School Board met in the high school auditorium for a called meeting concerning Bobby Ray Memorial Elementary’s construction project.
There is a drain pipe that runs from the Chancery Street side of the building toward the back of the site. According to Upland Design Group architect Allen Hill, the plastic pipe needs to be switched to iron to prevent any type of leak, which would compromise the foundation of the building.
“The concern is that the high-density polyethylene pipe might come under more pressure than originally anticipated,” explained Hill. “If this pipe did fail, it would be costly and very challenging to replace.”
Director of Schools Bobby Cox explained the board would need to move money from the contingency into the project, but that it would not change the bottom line.
Asked School Board member Helen Martin, “How much is left in the contingency budget?”
“The replacement pipe out of the contingency will cost $8,133 so we will have $20,919 left,” said Cox. “It will also add a week to the project.”
After some discussion, the board approved to change the plastic pipe at Bobby Ray to ductile iron. Board members also approved a card reader, electronic door strike and adding seven days to the contract, which makes Bobby Ray’s estimated completion date June 18, 2019.