School board approves roofing project, tables others

Published 12:23 pm Wednesday, December 16, 2020

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

The Chilton County Board of Education is moving forward with roofing projects at Thorsby High School and LeCroy Career Technical Center.

The board approved getting architectural drawings for the roof project at Thorsby during a meeting on Dec. 15. The roof for LCTC was approved as a part of the consent agenda.

A list of other projects that Superintendent Jason Griffin had presented at a previous work session as priorities to fund with money from a state bond issue was removed from the agenda prior to the meeting. Griffin said the board had requested having a second work session to discuss the projects to be funded.

This is anticipated to be scheduled for January. Griffin said he hopes for the updated list to be considered at the January board meeting.

Board President Pam Price said there were some differences among the board about what should be prioritized and not everyone agreed with Griffin’s list.

During a work session on Dec. 15, Rex Bittle addressed the board in support of a new band room for Jemison High School, which had been mentioned at the previous work session about the list of priorities.

“It is something that has been talked about for a long time,” Bittle said. “… The Jemison band program has grown by leaps and bounds and now serves 200 students.”

He said the band room does not have adequate space and has not “for quite some time,” which is negatively impacting musical instruction.

“The band program has (received) awards,” Bittle said. “It has become a representative of the community at a high level.”

He said this is positive for Jemison, the county and the Board of Education.

Bittle also highlighted the importance of music education in showing students how what they are learning in other classes is important.

“For at least three years, the band room has been stated to be the first, second or third project on the (capital projects) list, and now it continues to move down and other things are hurdling and coming to the top,” Bittle said.

Bittle said building a new band facility across the street from the current band room would be good option.

“It will require a lot of dirt work but it is very doable,” Bittle said, commenting that similar projects have been done other places.

“This is an urgent need, and it has been promised over and over again,” Bittle said.

This has led to a community expectation of the project getting done soon.

The school system will receive $9.3 million from state bond issue. In a previous work session, Griffin detailed several projects that he would like to see funded with the money. He stated then and reiterated in the meeting on Dec. 15 that he would like to have the projects complete within two years.

Also during the voting session, the Board:

  • Heard from Chilton County Engineer Tony Wearren about how his department could help the school system with paving projects. He said the road bids include a clause for additional projects that can be funded. Projects for the school system could be included in this.
  • Heard from Clanton Elementary School Physical Education teacher Shelia Speaks about her becoming a district representative with the Alabama State Association Physical for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
  • Approved the bank reconciliation, an add on to the computer program streamline purchase orders and an updated chart for travel compensation.
  • Approved Memorandums of Understanding with the Family Guidance Center of Alabama and Faulkner University.
  • Approved a Western Governors University student teaching agreement.