New building considered in master plan
Manila school board held an expulsion hearing, discussed a proposed master plan, extended the superintendent's contract, filled a custodian position, and accepted a resignation at the January meeting held Thursday evening.
President Tracey Reinhart called the meeting to order with board members Danny Robbins, Brandon Veach, Tony Crowell, Jeremy Jackson and Tommy Wagner attending. Johnny McCain was absent.
Following the approval of the minutes and financial review, the board heard an expulsion hearing.
Superintendent Pam Castor recommended a middle school student be expelled for the remainder of the 2011-2012 school year for violation of a bomb threat policy and disruption of school policy.
Following a short executive session, the board voted unanimously to accept the superintendent's recommendation of expulsion for the remainder of the school year.
Castor presented a policy proposal on technology for the board to review and be submitted to the Personnel Policy Committee.
"This proposed policy goes along with what we have discussed recently," Reinhart said.
The board voted to send the proposed policy to the PPC.
Board members discussed the 2012 Master Plan. Castor informed the board the master plan has to be submitted by Feb. 1 but can be revised next year if changes are needed.
They discussed the possibility of a new high school building or renovation of the existing building.
The original building, Tipton Hall, was built in 1950 with the new addition added in 1976.
"We need to take in consideration the age of the building.
"If we elect to go with renovation, it would be down the road for new construction," Castor said.
"If we elect to do a renovation what would be down the road, Tony Crowell asked.
"In my mind if we invest money in renovation, we would be extending the life of the building 30 years," Castor said. "It falls to the wishes of the board. A major renovation would last 25 to 30 years at least."
The board discussed what it would take, if possible, to bring up the old building to code.
The board asked about comparison of the cost of renovation or new construction. It was estimated renovations could cost between $2.8 and 3.2 million with new construction estimated at $12 million.
Wagner said there is no guarantee partnership money will be there down the road.
"Across the state seventy-five percent of the partnership money has been spent on new construction," Wagner said.
Wagner said he was in favor of going with new construction.
"The quicker we act on it, the better we will be," he said.
The board agreed to go with the proposal of new construction. President Reinhart asked Castor to have the architect at the next meeting offer some options to the board.
The Board accepted the resignation of Paula Sneed, custodian.
They voted to hire Jamie Helton for the remainder of the school year to fill the position.
Following a lengthy executive session, the board voted 5-1 to extend the superintendent's contract through June of 2014, extending it one year. Board member Wagner cast the no vote.
Castor presented administrative reports informing the board of a wellness meeting in Little Rock on Feb. 2. She presented a calendar of upcoming events for the high school.
"Our softball and baseball teams have been invited by the city to utilize a new inside practice facility at the park," Castor said. "We appreciate it."
The next regular School Board meeting will be held on Thursday, Feb. 16.