BIC School Board expresses construction concerns

Tuesday, April 25, 2017
EAST Night Out held before the regular April board meeting. BIC EAST received two citations from Rep. Dan Sullivan in recognition of receiving the EAST Founder's Award.
Photo by Ruby Vaden

The Buffalo Island Central School District held its regularly scheduled board meeting Thursday evening to discuss agenda items ranging from construction updates, student recognition, selection of cafeteria suppliers, financial report approval and personnel issues.

Prior to the meeting board members attended EAST Night Out in the Mustang Athletic Complex. EAST students Drew McFall and Alex Talavera presented projects they have been involved in throughout the year. A few of the projects are the Veterans Day program, Adopt a Grandfriend, as well as a 3D Printed Crutch for an American Doll. Being the winner of the EAST Founders Award this year, Representative Dan Sullivan awarded the EAST students and sponsor Jill Sanders with two citations.

Superintendent Gaylon Taylor expressed numerous concerns in regard to construction updates. Bids have been postponed for the second time this year. The first deal didn’t go through because of issues dealing with the projected square footage for the project, which are 123,119.

Taylor expressed, “I’m afraid the bids may come in too high, due to the many delays,” Taylor said.

Adam Seiter, senior project manager at Nabholz Construction, and John Mixon, architect at Cromwell Architects Engineers, were in attendance and provided informative updates about the lack of progress regarding the construction of the new school systems.

Seiter indicated, “The original bid date was set for March 16, but due to an upcoming addendum, which was received April 13, it caused me to postpone that date to April 20 (the day of the meeting) but the plan fell through. Ultimately this caused me to re-extend the date to May 18.”

Although the Leachville project was strategically placed three weeks behind the Monette project, now both projects are eventually pushed back at least three months.

“Due to the delays and given there are no other foreseen issues, we’re looking at projected date in mid-October to get things started,” Seiter added.

When asked by Taylor if two supervisors were still needed to complete the projects in a timely manner, Seiter said, “Additional supervisors are a necessity regardless of the circumstances, because they help ensure the projects are completed in a safe and timely manner and the level of quality is satisfactory.”

Mixon added another issue causing delays is “The required square footage and the constant revision of the plan while it’s (still) in the bidding process,” he said. “We keep having to revise the plan to get it down to 123,000 square feet because we came up short 10,000 square feet from the state requirements, which would cost the board $1.5 million out of pocket.”

Even though there are many delays with the progression of the construction, both contractors and school board members agreed the ultimate goal is to provide the towns of Monette and Leachville with state of the art facilities that will make the citizens in the area very proud. “We will do this in the most safe, timely and efficient way possible,” Mixon said.

Board members reviewed bids for outsourcing companies for the cafeteria. The bid for the 2017-2018 school year was awarded to Aramark with a 5-0 vote.

In other business:

*The Board accepted the resignation of elementary counselor Jennifer Kasserman.

*The Board voted to hire Katherine Wren for junior high social studies and English as well as Eric Jackson for the band position.

*The Board voted to hire all certified and non-certified employees who wish to return for the 2017-2018 school year.

*Stipends were set for drama at $500 per sponsor per production to be awarded on the sponsor checks following each production (two per year).

*Also approved were motions to increase the stipend for head cheer coach to $1,500 and keep the assistant cheer coach at $1,000.

*The Board discussed possible lunch charge policies for the 2017-2018 school year. They plan to establish a policy in the upcoming meeting in May.

*The Board was also informed that Mr. Petznik wanted to discuss starting volleyball as a AAA sponsored event. The board requested Mr. Petznik speak to the board in the meeting scheduled in May.

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