Purdy school board awards contract

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A major construction contract to renovate the entrance into the school gym and move the restrooms and library received approval by the Purdy Board of Education at a rare 7 a.m. meeting on Dec. 20.

Bids for the project were opened on Dec. 19. Superintendent Dr. Steven Chancellor said Paragon Architecture checked references as contractors expressed interest in the project. He urged board members to schedule a special meeting as soon as possible.

Three contractors submitted bids, all of which were fairly close. Bales Construction, of Springfield, received the contract at $1,045,000. The main project includes:

* A face lift on the exterior of the north entrance to the school, by the gym,

* A new entrance ramp and sidewalk,

* A new ticket booth, major changes to the heating and air conditioning system, * Moving the public restrooms and the library south of the gym on the west side of the hallway where the trailer classrooms have been located,

* Expanding the cafeteria into the current library space and making the corner closest to the gym into a multi-use facility that will double as a concession stand for athletic events.

According to Randy Henderson, board president, the only alternate on the contract asked for quotes to bring the fire alarm system up to modern codes. Board members also approved that contract, Henderson said, for $12,600.

The board has no plans to seek an additional bond issue. Capital improvement reserves and lease purchases will cover construction costs.

Administrative action

At the regular meeting on Dec. 16, board members approved the audit for the 2012-13 school year. Scott Benton, with Benton CPA, of Cassville, reported the district will receive a finding that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has its own accounting system and does not teach superintendents generally accepted accounting practices.

Benton recommended more consistent use of purchased orders and revising the sick pay schedule, which is now set up as an incentive to pay teachers for days already worked. He advised putting sick pay into the pay steps instead, then docking employees for days not present.

The board approved Christmas bonuses for the staff. Chancellor said using tax money for Christmas bonuses is "a fairly common practice."

Reports

Prior to the Christmas break, school was out of session five days for weather., the same number of days missed during all of the 2012-13 school year.

"At the end of the day, you've got to pick which wrong decision to make," Chancellor said.

The first semester ended on Dec. 20, despite the lost days. The schedule calls for making up the first four snow days May 19 through May 22. Summer school is tentatively scheduled to start on May 27.

Board members passed mid-year amendments to the budget. Chancellor expected other revisions in the spring and passage of final version in June.

The board adopted new policies on general administration proposed by Missouri Consultants for Educators and deleted old policies from the Missouri School Boards Association. Chancellor said the next group of policies will require more discussion. The next group includes incentives to certified staff to announce retirements by the January meeting and resignations for the coming year at the February meeting.

Jeff Swadley, elementary principal, reported a record 59 students were adopted for Christmas help from the school's Angel Tree this year. Student groups, staff members and their families sponsored 56 of those.

Janet Boys, middle school principal, said teachers used their December professional development lessons using the Workshop Model to implement thinking strategies in the classroom. Students have responded well in the math, science and social studies classes.

Bob Vice, high school principal, said the cheerleaders competed in Kansas City and placed third, qualifying for national competition in Orlando, Fla.

The board will next meet on Jan. 21.

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