Manila School Board

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Manila School Board members viewed a power point presentation by architect John Mixon with the Cromwell Firm on possible designs for a new high school. The sketches were of a two-story, L-shaped building with two wings and a large auditorium.

Mixon said it is getting close to time to make a decision on a design. Sketches have been made with the square footage matching the POR. POR is the method the state uses to determine funding allowed.

"If you want something above what the POR allows, it will be the district's expense," Mixon said. "We will need to meet and discuss the placement of the classrooms. Right now we have ninth and 10th grades on the first floor and 11th and 12th grades on the second floor. You can tell us which classrooms need to be close to each other."

The single story wing has an elevated top and will house a physical education gymnasium, and the workforce classes such as agriculture, FCCLA and business. Mixon said they are still working on the best location of a safe area. They are looking at the lower level hallway or a larger area such as the p.e. gymnasium.

Several board members said they liked the placement of the classrooms but thought the building should be turned slightly so the entrance would be more visible.

Mixon said the placement of the building could be turned and still work.

President Danny Robbins was elected as the Arkansas School Board Association delegate for the Manila District.

The Board renewed the accident insurance policy for board members, bus drivers and teachers who are killed or dismembered while on school business. The total amount is $320.50 per year.

The Board passed several resolutions to do business with companies and individuals who have relatives employed by the school. These included Coastal Construction; Hill's Lawn Care; TIFCO; Charles Perry Farms; Kris Gipson Construction; Wal-Mart Incorporated; American Rent to Own; Benny Bob's BBQ; Heath Donner Farms; Wal-Mart in Osceola; Today's Flowers and Gifts; Southern Bancorp; Steve Metheny Farms; ABS Envelopes and Business Systems; Oates Construction; Farmers Market; Kayecee LLC and LS Farms and Construction; All Scapes; and Woody's Electric.

The board reviewed the Master Plan Project. Superintendent Pam Castor said any changes or additions will have to be submitted by Feb. 1, 2014. She presented board members with a comment sheet and requested input for the facilities comments for each building.

Castor said the existing master plan project list includes the new high school construction projected for 2015-2016. She said phase 2 and 3 includes the football stadium expansion for 2016-1017 and the baseball softball track for 2018-2019, along with a stand-alone safe room for 2019-2020. The board has the option at this time to bump out some of the plans between 2020-24. She said the board might want to bump out the expansion of the athletic field and the stand-alone safe room at this time. The Master Plan can be updated every year.

Brandon Veach, board member, made a motion which passed unanimously to move the two projects out for five years. The board voted 7-0 to move out five years on the two projects (the stand-alone safe room and expansion of the athletic field).

Mrs. Castor said South Mississippi County has proposed a land trade-out. She said Manila's share of the land proposed in this section is 180 acres.

She presented the board with five year averages to compare the revenue from the land.

Board member Tommy Wagner suggested the board consider a land appraisal value. Following a discussion, no action was taken.

Following a short executive session, the board accepted the resignation of Pam Purser as custodian.

The board voted to hire Stacie Richmond as custodian for the remainder of the year.

Mrs. Castor talked about the AYP results of the district's appeal. She said the elementary is an achieving schools in both literacy and mathematics. The middle school is achieving in literacy but needs improvement in math. The high school is achieving in math, but needs improvement in literacy. She said to get out of the needs improvement status in math the district needed 77.93 percent proficient or advanced and the score was 77.07 percent proficient.

"Overall we have done well," she said. "We have set the bar high. Some schools that have been named achieving schools do not scores as high as ours because our scores were already high. The University of Arkansas, Office of Education Policy has recognized our schools for achievement. We are all proud of the hard work of our teachers and students."

School Board President Danny Robbins praised the Middle School Robotics program. Fifteen teams participated in competition at Searcy and three teams qualified for state.

Middle School Principal LeeAnn Helms thanked the board for their support.

"They worked hard," Mrs. Castor said. "It is great to watch them work."

Board member Tracy Reinhart complimented the community projects underway through the East project.

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