Tuesday, July 05, 2011

TOP STORY >> School to move sidewalk

Leader staff writer

The Lonoke School Board voted at a special meeting last week to move the recently poured sidewalk on the east/northeast side of the new high school two feet closer to the building because city council members and the mayor feel it may limit two-way traffic.

The sidewalk visually narrows College Street, Superintendent John Tackett said. Mayor Wayne McGee agreed to have the city remove and dispose of the concrete sidewalk at no cost to the district. Changes to the almost 100 feet of concrete will be completed by this Friday so that it would not cause delays on the completion of the new high school.

If those conditions are not met, the city has agreed to also pay for the replacement of the sidewalk. If those conditions are met, the district will pay for the preparation of the new sidewalk, the concrete, the concrete finishing and architectural fees associated with the change.

The location of the sidewalks was included in an entire set of plans submitted to the city prior to job start-up. The sidewalk can only be moved two feet because of the position of a fire hydrant.

Delk Construction will layout, pour and finish the new sidewalk as redrawn by Lewis Architects.

The board also voted to replace one louver in a gable at the new high school with a precast, concrete seal and replace four other louvers with aluminum windows.

The changes will improve aesthetics and help prevent birds from nesting behind what would be non-functioning grates.

In other business, the board voted to accept a $79,470 bid from Stadium Pros for the replacement of visitor bleachers.

Specifications for the replacement, drawn up by Lewis Architects, will increase the capacity of the current bleachers by 40 for a total of 740 seats.

School board members poked fun at the expense, but acknowledged that efforts to repair the steps, block and fencing have not been successful. The frame under the bleacher is also deteriorated and creates a safety hazard.

Thursday’s special meeting of the board was also held to approve the sending of three board proposals to Classified and Certified Personnel Policies Committees for review and comments. Those committees will have 10 days to look over the proposal.

Voting to send the proposals on Thursday will allow board members to vote on the proposals at the regular July meeting.

The first proposal is to establish a salary schedule for HIPPY employees hired through Title I funds though Wilbur D. Mills Educational Service Cooperative but contracted by the district to take care of early childhood, 3 to 4-year-old students.

The salaries will be equivalent to current pay levels for specific jobs and will set a common standard for raises.

The second proposal is to re-establish the maintenance director index at 1.38 to make the salary correspond with required job responsibilities.

The third proposal is to establish a $1,000 stipend for a swim coach. The district has had a swim team for one year and the coach is a certified teacher.

The board also voted to amend its current student transfer policy to allow members to consider circumstances in the event a “reasonable” standard can be applied to a request. Members agreed to pass the change with an addition.

The addition allows parents to transfer children for the coming school year only if the request is made by Sept. 1 of that school year. Board members felt this would prevent students from transferring in the middle of the year and put some limitation on the extenuating circumstances clause.

The board also approved a legal transfer for Peyton Beedle to attend Cabot schools and hired two employees while accepting one resignation.

Sarah Woodward, seventh- grade literacy teacher, resigned. Shannon Simkins was hired to teach sixth-grade math and Mark Hobson was hired as district maintenance director.