Manila School Board officers re-elected

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Manila school board officers were elected for the 2013-2014 school year at the Oct. 17 regular board meeting held Thursday. Danny Robbins, president, Brandon Veach, vice president, and Jeremy Jackson, secretary, will remain in their positions for a second year by unanimous votes.

On the recommendation of Superintendent Pam Castor, Tracey Reinhart was approved as chief board dispersing officer with Johnny McCain, Brandon Veach, Anita Cole, and Tommy Wager as alternates.

The board met Oct. 10 and Oct. 14 to discuss matters related to land acquisition for a new high school facility.

Castor said they are talking with land owners and looking into five different 40 acre locations. Three have options for an additional 20 acres. The locations include two on Highway 18 east of Manila; two on Highway 18 west of Manila; and one on Highway 77, south of Manila. The board also wants to meet with a representative from the highway department to get an insight on how the four lane highway plans will affect the properties.

John Mixon, architect with the Cromwell Firm, was at the Oct. 17 meeting to discuss the high school building project. He talked with board members on what can be funded with partnership money. He explained the state will approve a physical education complex and an auditorium based on enrollment. He said anything built over what is state approved will have to be completely funded by the district.

The board asked him to get a cost analysis on the savings of a two story building; corridor safe room, physical education facility; number of classrooms; auditorium, etc. The board also wants to compare what the partnership funding will fund.

"How often will we need an auditorium that seats 1,000?" Board member Johnny McCain asked.

"It depends on what events you use it for," Board member Brandon Veach said. "If we want to have graduation there it would be filled."

Principal Robin Baugher said the present high school auditorium is limited in seating. She said they use the gymnasium to accommodate events for K-12. Both the high school and the kindergarten graduations have to be held in the gym.

"The type of auditorium to be built will have an impact on the numbers and cost," Mixon said.

The board asked Mixon to compare cost of an auditorium to seat 600, 800 and 1,000.

Also at the meeting was Marshall Hughes with First Security Beardsley Public Finance to discuss the time frame for a special election for a millage increase. He said a 4.7 mill increase will generate $6 million. Paperwork for an election has to be filed 60 days before the actual election date.

The board will have a special meeting on Oct. 28 to continue discussion.

Castor asked about continuing to allow a sublease on a portion of the farmland rented by Steve Metheny. She said the part of the land subleased is divided by the Floodway and can only be accessed through Milligan Ridge.

Board member Veach said that portion is hard to take care of and it is not cost effective for the farmer. The board expressed no objections.

The board voted 6-0 to approve the Arkansas Standards of Accreditation and the Arkansas Common Core Standards.

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