BREAKING NEWS 1-Weather delays

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 28, 2016


Weather could delay projects

By Rupert Howell
Two multi-million dollar building construction projects are supposed to be completed prior to the scheduled beginning of the 2016-17 school year but Superintendent Tim Wilder would not promise the South Panola School board of trustees that it would happen.
Meeting Tuesday at their regular monthly meeting Wilder told trustees, “My opinion— the ninth grade building is on schedule. The elementary building, I’m not so sure.”
The superintendent explained that weather has been a factor in blocking progress of construction stating, “We have dealt with some drainage issues.”
Wilder invited trustees for the annual school building “walk-through” April 6 and 7 when they will do the annual inspection of school buildings and look at the two facilities under construction at Batesville Elementary School and the 9th-grade wing of the high school.
Wilder noted there was a $500 per day penalty for construction beyond the set date of completion.
The superintendent also recommended the purchase of five new buses for the district at a state bid price of approximately $77,500 each.
Wilder reminded trustees that transportation director Scootie Murphree had suggested purchasing two per year after the district was straddled with buying 19 in one year to update the fleet. The superintendent said he failed to request any buses in the past two or three years due to budget uncertainties.
District Financial Director David Rubenstein said the district has 68 or 69 buses running every day and some of those being replaced can be used for back up.
The superintendent said the buses ranged in years from 1998-2007 and all had between 250,000 and 350,000 miles.
“They don’t need to be on a regular route,” Wilder stated.
The district went to a new system of operating copier machines beginning in January of 2015 with Wilder reporting a savings after the first year of at least $53,000. He suggested he thought savings were actually closer to $100,000 with financial director Rubenstein agreeing.
Trustees also voted to approve first reading of several policy changes which included dress code and school calendar. The superintendent stated he wanted the dress code approved as early as possible, “So parents will know what (clothes) to buy.”
Trustees approved $2.2 million in spending for the month, $1.3 million of that in construction cost.
Trustees went into executive session where they discussed litigation behind closed doors. Attorney Ryan Revere stated after the session that no action was taken by trustees.

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