- Our Sites
- The News-Gazette
- NewsTalk 1400 WDWS-AM
- Lite Rock 97.5 WHMS
- 107.9 WKIO
- Community News
Some new items have been added to the summer maintenance work at Schneider Elementary, including the removal of bats and the replacement of water pipes. Together, the two jobs will cost the district about $100,000.
Blue Ridge School Board members approved the asbestos abatement and repair of leaky water pipes located in the tunnels that run beneath the original building at a meeting on Wednesday, July 17 at Blue Ridge Junior High.
Board members discussed partially repairing the pipes but opted to completely replace them saying it would be a better choice for the school in the long run, especially since the district was already investing in a new geothermal heating and cooling system at Schneider Elementary.
“It’s a major expense but it has to be done, especially with this money we’re putting into the new geothermal system,” said school board president Bart Lytel. “We can’t afford not to do it right the first time.”
The cost for asbestos abatement and repair of the water pipes is estimated to be about $90,000.
“We’ve invested too much money into what we’re doing so far [at Schneider]. I think at this point we can’t afford to be pennywise and pound foolish,” Lytel said.
Superintendent Susan Wilson said money from the district’s Operations and Maintenance Fund would be used to cover the cost of the asbestos abatement and the new water pipes.
Bats and their babies have been discovered in the grates that vent into the classroom. While the bats are not actually in the building, Wilson said guano [bat feces] is “in the way of the airflow that will be going into the classroom so the bats need to be humanely removed.”
Anything Wild has been hired to remove the bats, and the cost will range from $3,000 to $5,000.
The roof on the kindergarten wing will also be replaced this fall. Wilson told board members the roof had been leaking last year, and the district’s attempts to patch it didn’t alleviate the issue.
Bids went out last week and will be due August 9. Work will likely begin this fall. The roof is expected to take a couple of months before it’s completed.
High school notes
In his principal’s report, Blue Ridge High School Principal John Lawrence told school board members BRHS soccer coach Marty Price was named Coach of the Year at the State Farm Student-Athlete Recognition Banquet on June 20.
Lawrence said the first day of fall sports practices begins on August 14. It is also the deadline to sign up to participate in the Random Drug Testing Program. This is for any student who wishes to play any sport during the 2013-14 school year.
If a student doesn’t sign up by the deadline, he or she will have to pay for their first test and will be required to pay for it before participating in an activity.
During Wednesday's school board meeting, employment decisions were approved for some new teachers and changes in positions throughout the Blue Ridge district. The approved employments include:
• Chris Hayes – Junior High science teacher
• Chris Hayes – Assistant Girls' Basketball Coach
• Kaitlin Rushing – Kindergarten teacher, Schneider Elementary
• Jennifer Kelley – Title 1 Assistant, Schneider Elementary
• Kyle Watson – Athletic Director, Blue Ridge High School
The decision regarding Watson and the Athletic Director position resulted in a roll call vote. Three board members voted yes, while two voted no and one abstained from the vote.
Approval was also given to the Superintendent to hire a qualified applicant for the Assistant Volleyball Coach and a Marching Band Assistant for the high school for next year. The hiring is set to be completed before next month's board meeting.
The board also approved salaries of exempt personnel for the upcoming school year.