Piggott School Board Weighs Options at Meeting

Thursday, March 2, 2017
Revised plans for the concession stand/restroom project at Parker Field are reviewed at Monday night's special board meeting.(TD photo/Tim Blair)

Members reviewed a variety of construction, improvement and repair projects during a special meeting of the Piggott school board held Monday evening. During the special called gathering they also approved the sale of an old bus to the highest bidder.

After dispensing with the consent agenda items, and financial reports, the board turned its attention to old business. Under that heading they opened bids on the sale of an old bus, accepting the high bid from Lanny Ashcraft, of Burleson, Tex., in the amount of $5,026. The board approved the sale on superintendent Charlie Powell's recommendation without dissent.

Next, the board voted 5-0 to rescind the bid on the shingle part only of the high school roofing project, choosing to open the project for bidding once again.

The board also reviewed the particulars of the drainage efforts at Piggott Elementary School with the project engineer. One of the major areas of concern is in front of the main elementary building, along East Main Street. Currently, there are retention areas in front of the campus, although they're not connected to any drainage system which has allowed water to stand. This is one of several areas earmarked for rehabilitation in an effort to improve drainage around both campuses of the local district.

The board also discussed the plans to build a safe room, utilizing a $600,000 grant from FEMA. In recent months the board has wrestled with a location for the proposed shelter facility, which will cost about a million dollars to complete.

At an earlier meeting the idea was discussed, as board members hoped to address the need for a new music room at PHS with the construction of a safe room. During Monday's discussion this continued to be the most popular idea, although board members belabored the fact the same couldn't be done at PES for the time being.

After further review it was decided to proceed with the music room/safe room plan at PHS, but with an eye toward seeking funds to build a similar structure at the elementary in the future. The measure passed on a vote of 5-0.

The concession stand/restroom facility at Parker Field was also reviewed, as the board had instructed the project architect to present alternatives to the original $350,000 price tag. The new plans call for 10 feet to be removed from the existing concession stand, with about the same amout of square footage added to the north side. A screened-in porch area will also be constructed, which would allow for outside cooking on a grill.

The initial cost estimates for the down-sized project is $50,000, and an updated plan will be presented at the next regular board meeting for their approval.

The board also took time to review other projects which are in the works, in an effort to determine how much of the bond money remains. Powell reminded the board that all funds from the bond must be spent by November of 2018. "Not obligated, but actually spent," she added.

She reviewed the various projects still to be completed, including the renovation of the high school library, complete replacement of the roof at the elementary campus, fence around the track, concession stand restroom facility, vents for the agri shop, the drainage projects and the safe room/band room.

The superintendent did indicate a portion of the roof project at PES should be paid for, although the district won't know until May the extent of the support.

"Based on the state formula we should get 50 to 58 percent of the project paid for," she explained.

Based on her calculations and estimates, Powell noted some $800,000 was not obligated at this point and she requested that the board members think of other needs while the funds are still available.

Mohawk football coach Michael Harrell informed the board the new track equipment is arriving daily, and noted there would be a need for some type of storage facility. At the suggestion of board member Bradley Dunlap, Harrell was asked to check on the costs of having a building constructed, or purchased, with the possibility of locating it under the home bleachers.

He also reported the company which is building the track is waiting for dryer weather before the asphalt base can be laid, but noted their equipment is on site. Harrell reported that the Mohawk track teams will be hosting two meets in April, and he has instructed the contractor to have the facility ready by then. "We're having a junior high meet on April 11 and a senior high meet on April 13, and we intend to have the track ready," Harrell offered.

Recently rainy conditions have slowed the construction effort, which includes laying the asphalt and the track surface. "They've got all the prep work done with the long jump and pole vault pits, we're ready for the asphalt when the weather improves," he surmised.

In other business the board--

--Approved a change order for HVAC work at the elementary school not to exceed $8,000.

--Opened the bidding process for HVAC units for the middle gym.

--Discussed the effort to add vents to the agri shop at Piggott High School.

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