Bond talk once again took up the majority of the time at Monday’s Decatur school board meeting, as trustees continue to look at the district’s needs.
Superintendent Rod Townsend gave the board a presentation on what he sees as needs for the district. He divided them into two groups. “Package one,” as he described it, were definite needs for the district. “Package two” were items that might be considered more “wants” than “needs.”
It was clear what was the most pressing item in Townsend’s eye.
“The district is going to have to do something with transportation in the near future, so there’s about $2.5 million in transportation that will be the driving force behind this bond issue,” he said.
Transportation needs could include 25 buses as well as other, smaller vehicles.
In addition to transportation, technology items were in Package One. Items identified for a possible bond issue would address the district’s needs for the next 10 years, including refreshing its computers.
Security needs are also on the list, including card readers for all facilities that don’t currently use the technology.
“It would allow us to lock every door there and be able to track everyone coming and going and allow us to keep only the front doors open for traffic coming in and out,” Townsend said.
Only teachers would have cards, not students, Townsend said.
Security upgrades would also include more cameras outdoors and in parking areas, as well as inside buildings.
Townsend said each campus was examined to determine its facility needs. A few of the needs by campus included:
RANN ELEMENTARY – energy-efficient motion sensors for lights
CARSON ELEMENTARY – motion sensors and additional parking in front of the building to ease traffic issues
6TH GRADE CAMPUS – motion sensors, new roof and gutters
MULTIPURPOSE BUILDING – new dishwasher, public address system
MCCARROLL 7TH/8TH GRADE CAMPUS – motion sensors, repainting hallways, fixing plumbing issues, resurfacing tennis courts, restroom remodel and repair
SUPPORT SERVICES BUILDING – new roof, new air conditioning system, new windows, new exterior doors, parking lot expansion, freezer, training room, landscaping, repairing brick walls
HIGH SCHOOL – two additional tennis courts, tennis concession stand and restrooms, resurfacing high school track, adding fencing and parking areas
BASEBALL/SOFTBALL FIELD – new press boxes, restrooms
THOMPSON STREET TRACK – restrooms/concession stands, resurfacing track
DISTRICTWIDE – repave, seal and paint parking lots; field turf at high school track.
WISH LIST INCLUDES TURF
“Package two” items included a gym for Rann Elementary as well as upgrades to the sixth grade practice field, bleacher awnings and roll-up doors for batting cages at the baseball/softball facility, general infrastructure upgrades for technology, field turf at Eagle Stadium and an indoor multipurpose practice facility at the high school.
The decision of whether to call the bond election, and what to include, is still up to the school board.
“It seems to me that some bond is going to be in order even if it is just for transportation, if that is what the board ultimately decided,” board President Kevin Haney said. “If we are going to do some of these other things, I think some priority needs to be given to them … If Feb. 27 is the deadline for calling a bond, we really need to make a decision in January.”
The board decided to hold a workshop to discuss the issue at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3.
In other business the board:
- learned that student enrollment has reached 3,010, the highest it has been all year;
- heard an update on the new agriculture facility, which is expected to be completed next month;
- learned that all teachers at all campuses meet the 100 percent highly qualified requirement as part of the No Child Left Behind Act;
- honored the Decatur High School girls cross country team and the FFA Quiz team for their recent success at competitions; and
- honored Young Elementary kindergarten teacher Donae Raymundo as educator of the month and Rann Elementary’s Michelle Hornback as support staff employee of the month.