Piggott School Board Preps For Coming School Year

Thursday, April 13, 2017
A rendering of the new playground equipment purchased by the Piggott School Board at Monday night's regular meeting.(TD photo/Tim Blair)

With the current school year winding down, the Piggott Schools Board of Education laid groundwork for the 2017-2018 session at their regular meeting Monday night. Several major construction projects were given the green light, a variety of acquisitions were approved and over a half-dozen resignations were accepted following a lengthy executive session.

With all members in attendance, along with key administrative staff, the meeting was called to order at the administration building. After dispensing with approval of the financial reports the board addressed several issues with Fred Malicoat, of Malicoat-Winslow Engineers.

The first concerned the improvements needed to solve drainage problems at both campuses.

“We're going to be trying to pursue a possible grant through the same state agency that worked with the city on the Safe Routes to School grant,” superintendent Charlie Powell reported. “We'll be meeting with the city on the matter.”

Malicoat also observed that conditions have been too wet to work on the project.

The next order of business was to consider bids on the purchase and installation of vents in the agri shop for the welding booths. Bids were submitted by RGB and Stonebridge Construction for the seven booths, with the low bid from Stonebridge in the amount of $105,400.

After a brief discussion concerning the bidding process the low bid was accepted on a vote of 5-0.

Board members then reviewed bids on the construction of a fence around the new track at Parker Field, which will be installed following the paving of the track surface.

A total of three bids were submitted for the job, with the low bid from Dacus Fence Company, of Jonesboro, in the amount of $25,710. Board members voted to accept the low bid without dissent.

Malicoat then reviewed bids for the high school roof project, explaining a change was made to architectural shingles with a 30 year warranty.

Powell also reported some damage to the roof of the press box at Parker Field from the recent wind storm, and indicated the company could also take care of that project at the same time.

The low bid from Jonesboro Roofing Company of $36,987 was accepted.

Finalized plans for the concession stand at Parker Field were then reviewed with Malicoat and Todd Welch, of Brackett Krennerich Architects. Board members viewed the final blueprints for the project, and discussed the possibility of selling memorial and honorarium bricks to help defray future costs.

Afterward, the board approved the plans, allowing them to be forwarded to the Arkansas Department of Education Facilities Department for consideration.

Later in the meeting the board re-visited the issue of purchasing new playground equipment for PES.

Late last year the board viewed photos of several different arrays of equipment, and referred the matter to the PES staff. Recently, Powell reported there was a consensus, and presented the board with the information.

Monday night the improvements were reconsidered, and after a lengthy discussion on the cost the purchase was approved without dissent.

“This addresses the need we have for equipment that is handicapped and wheelchair accessible,” Powell explained. “None of the current equipment meets those standards.”

The new equipment is being provided by Davis Playground Equipment at a price tag of $113,016.05, which includes shipping and installation. Powell noted it will be ready when students return to classes in the fall.

During her update to the board, Powell indicated the current student census is down slightly at 862. She also reported on testing which will be going on in the coming weeks, and reminded board members that PHS graduation for the class of 2017 will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 14, in the new gym.

Late in the meeting the board voted to enter into executive session to consider personnel matters, re-convening about an hour later.

The board then voted to re-hire the majority of classified personnel for the coming year. The personnel are listed below, including those denoted with an asterisk (*) whose jobs are subject to the approval of Federal Funding.

At PHS those returning include—Crystal Hearn*, Laura Chandler*, Darline Taylor, Theresa Besserman, Brandy Smart, Jean Baber*, Mia Boren, Shamala McCluskey, Jon Wellman, Shawna Stone and Angie Mauldin.

PES staff returning includes—Elisha Brown*, Veda Crittendon*, Jourdan Moore*, Tishana Laxson*, Paula Richardson*, Debbie Scott*, Nancy Seal*, Natasha Seal*, Ashley Riddle*, Erica Wicker*, McKenzie Rouse, Karen Seal*, Diana Vanderkooi, Tara Tigdon, Shannon Click, Katina Wilson, Sherry Hester and Diane Mauldin.

District office personnel includes—Joseph Crittenden, Shane Holcomb, Miles McCluskey, Sheila Mayberry, Sherry Taylor and Chris Thompson.

Transportation Staff includes-Deborah Chase, Fred Hicks, David Lyman, Steve Lyman, Kevin Murray, Debra Redford, Billy Veal, Sherry Stinebrook and Jon Wellman.

Food service staff includes-Debra Burgess, Tammy Gibson, Vikki Gibson, Shirley Grissom, Trina Hackworth, Melissa Moore, Doris Parker and Lynda Thomason.

The board also hired personnel for the summer months, with Katina Chadwell to serve as a custodian, Penny Toombs and Laura Brantley will work as the ACT prep teachers and Jon Wellman will once-again conduct summer school.

The final order of business was to accept resignations, with a number of long-time staff members among those leaving at the end of the year. Most notably are administrator Brock Swann, food service director Sherry Boyster, long-time teacher Linda Rouse and district secretary Margie Niewald. Also tendering their resignations were PES special education teacher Jennifer Benson, bus driver Charles Richardson, maintenance worker Tim McCluskey and school nurse Paula Magee.

The resignations were accepted by the board on a vote of 5-0.

Afterward, the board voted to adjourn.

In other business the board--

* Accepted the low bid on student insurance for the coming year from HSR in the amount of $7,627.

* Approved the purchase of Apex licenses for use in the ALE class at PHS at a cost of $3,000.

* Authorized the contract for occupational and physical therapy by Northeast Arkansas Therapy Providers.

* Voted to accept the bid for renovation of the junior high restrooms at the high school at a cost of $15,912.

* Approved the purchase of a scrub machine for the high school at a cost of $8,200 plus tax and delivery.

* Accepted the low bid for purchase of 17 new computers to replace the aged ones in the distance learning lab at a cost of $12,846.34.

* Authorized the purchase of 14 computers for the ALE classroom at PHS for $10,579.34.

* Voted to purchase 33 additional access points for broadband coverage at the elementary school from ItSavvy at a cost of $19,649.93.

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