BOE hires architectural firm for $8M in projects
by David Atchison
PELL CITY – The School Board approved a contract agreement with an architectural firm for the planning of $8 million worth of projects, which is contingent upon the approval of an agreement with the city to share the 2010 1-cent sales tax revenue, an agreement that was voted down and later tabled Tuesday night.

“My concern is the lack of time to review the agreement,” said board member Laurie Henderson, who was one of three board members to vote against accepting the agreement.

School Board members only received the agreement before Tuesday night’s meeting.

Henderson said the board needed more time to review the agreement after Superintendent Bobby Hathcock recommended the approval. Board member Cecil Fomby made a motion to approve the agreement and Board Chairman Tammie Williams seconded the motion.

The final vote was split 2-3 with the majority of the board members voting against accepting the agreement, saying they wished to table the matter until they had time to review the actual agreement.

John Rea, the city’s attorney, said it was his fault that board members received the drafted agreement so late, but he only completed the proposed agreement late Tuesday.

The School Board will hold a work session at 2 p.m. Sunday in the board office to discuss the agreement and future funding of the $8 million projects the board is considering.

At Tuesday night’s board meeting, the School Board approved to hire McKee and Associates Architecture and Interior Design of Montgomery to design and oversee the projects.

The School Board plans major renovations to the Spring Sports Complex, which includes a new quarter-mile running track and tennis courts. There are also plans to renovate and add new seating to the high school football stadium.

Work also includes installing a new roof, window fixtures and enclosing the walkway from main school building to the cafeteria of Duran South Junior High School.

Gary Mozingo, facility supervisor for the school system, said plans are to start work on the Spring Sports Complex and Duran South projects this summer.

He said the work on Pete Rich Stadium would not start until after the high school football season is completed next winter.

Mozingo said if everything goes as planned the school system could solicit bids for the projects sometime in April.

In other matters, the school board:

• Accepted the retirement request for Duran South special education teacher Katie Lane.

• Accepted the resignations of bus drivers Darlene Underwood and April Shirley, Iola Roberts Elementary School Title I aide Kathy Layton, and Pell City High School assistant teacher Alisha Gurley.

• Approved hiring Amelia Boyd as a bus driver.

• Approved adding Andrea Carmichael and Seana Alexander to the substitute teachers list.

• Approved adding Colon Williamson Jr., Christopher Gover and April Shirley to the substitute bus driver list.

• Approved the leave of absence for Lisa Finerty and Brittany Turner, Walter M. Kennedy Elementary School teachers, and Ashli Gilley, a Williams Intermediate teacher.

• Approved a contract with Lewis Kirksy as a bus driver trainer.

• Approved the supplement pay for Kimberly Gossett as a Pell City High School choreographer and dance instructor.

• Approved Kirakias Shepard as a volunteer football coach for Duran South Junior High School.

• Approved the expulsion of three Pell City High School students.

• Approved a contract with Verizon for phone and data services in the amount of $2,149 per month.

• Approved policy revisions dealing with student graduation and travel expenses for personnel.

Contact David Atchison at datchison@dailyhome.com.

© 2013