The Board of Education approved new gymnasium renovation plans at Cameron, Highfalls, and Westmoore elementary schools, saving nearly $6 million on March 13 during its regular meeting held at West Pine Elementary School.
The previous board had approved $8 million in whole-gym renovations, and the current board revised the plans for upgrades and repairs, saving 70%.
“My hope is to renovate roofs and get rid of trailers,” Vice Chair David Hensley said about what to do with the savings and said to begin getting rid of trailers at Crains Creek Middle School.
According to Hensley, the savings on the three gyms will repair a total of five gyms and build an entirely new school for 200 students.
Executive Officer for Operations Jenny Purvis and Superintendent Tim Locklair presented an update on gym renovation projects.
SfL+a Architects revised the original plans for $25,000 and presented the new plans to the board Feb. 27.
The original plans for Cameron Elementary School’s gym were $2.85 million, and the new plans are $1,205,000, saving about $1.65 million.
The new plans include replacing and repairing the roof, fascia, and flashing. It includes new gutters, downspouts, a single-use family toilet and relocating the concession stand. The plans also include demolishing the steam heat system and installing a new heating and air conditioning system for the gym and auxiliary buildings.
The original plans for Highfalls Elementary School’s gym were $2.8 million, and the new plans are $703,000, saving about $2.1 million.
The new plans include replacing and repairing the low roof over toilets, fascia, flashing, wood decking, adding new gutters and downspouts, upgrading electrical systems, replacing gym windows, repairing rough openings and adding a 60X60 stall to existing toilets. The plans include demolishing the steam heating system and installing a new heating and air conditioning system for the gym and auxiliary buildings.
The original plans for Westmoore Elementary School’s gym were $2.4 million, and the new plans are $553,000, saving over $1.8 million.
The new plans include upgrading the electrical system and replacing the gym windows. The plans include demolishing the steam heating system and installing a new heating and air conditioning system for the gym and auxiliary buildings.
The board plans to attain new quotes for all recommended work from the previous board to seek further savings, and Chair Robert Levy thanked Hensley for his savings initiative.
In other business, the board tabled changing from its monthly meeting schedule to meeting every other month, on special dates and quarterly, eliminating about 10 meetings. The board will discuss changing the meeting schedule at the next work session.
Hensley said he liked the idea of changing the meeting schedule but wanted to table the vote.
Member Stacy Caldwell agreed to wait for further discussion and public input.
“I disagree with this whole idea. I ran on the idea of transparency. I believe in as many meetings as possible. If we reduce meetings, we reduce oversight. People deserve open meetings. People deserve answers to their questions,” Levy said.
N.C. Gen. Stat. §115C-41(b) states as follows:
“All local boards of education shall meet on the first Monday in January, April, July, and October of each year, or as soon thereafter as practicable. A board may elect to hold regular monthly meetings, and to meet in special session upon the call of the chairman or of the secretary as often as the school business of the local school administrative unit may require.”
Board Policy 1318 – Notification of Board Meetings would require that “1318.1 In the event the Board’s schedule of regular meetings is changed, a revised schedule shall be publicized at least seven days prior to the first meeting held under the new schedule.”
The next work session is at the central office on April 10 at 9 a.m.
The board approved bringing the Scripps Spelling Bee Competition back to Moore County Schools in 2023-2024.
Preparations for the spelling bee begin in the fall with paying the $175 registration fee for each school, meetings and practice with Scripps’ resource materials.
In January 2024, Moore County Schools will hold the district spelling bee to select a representative to attend the Regional Scripps Spelling Bee in Charlotte.
The board approved incorporating a plan into the curriculum for fourth and eighth-grade students to learn about North Carolina history and salute the North Carolina flag.
Concerns in reciting the salute included having out-of-state transfer students salute the North Carolina flag and classroom time restraints.
Member Philip Holmes initially introduced the idea of daily reciting of the official salute to the flag of North Carolina. The official salute is: “I salute the flag of North Carolina and pledge to the Old North State love, loyalty, and faith.”
Holmes said the 18 words in the salute was a learning opportunity.
~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Journalist Stephanie M. Sellers. Contact her at [email protected]