Board Of Education Members Approve, Debates School Construction Projects

By REBECCA HAZEN
News Editor

Dade County School Board of Education members heard updates about the Dade Middle School improvements, and approved the Davis Elementary School project, during the Jan. 25 meeting.

“Today we received the certification of substantial completion for the phase 2 renovation and modification project. There are still some items that have to be addressed. Most of it is on the exterior of the building,” Interim Superintendent Josh Ingle said.

Ingle noted that he had a conference call with both the architect and the civil engineer about work at the Dade Middle School gymnasium.

“What they have concluded is in order to come up with a solution to remediate the gym floor area, it is going to entail a ten and a half foot retaining wall back behind the gym along with installation of new drainage pipe. The ultimate goal is to get the HVAC pads to be below the surface level of the gym floor. It will be a wall the whole length of the gym on the backside,” Ingle explained.

The cost of a retaining wall is estimated to be around $150,000.

“I’ve seen a lot of ten foot walls fall with too much water behind them,” board member Daniel Case commented. “I feel like a ten foot wall that would require [anchors] would be a whole lot more expensive than two shorter walls.”

“The civil engineer’s recommendations – and I asked him to provide several options – is because there is so much rock, and because of the elevation of the land, and there’s not a lot of space back there, so there’s not a lot of options that can be done,” Ingle said.

Case said he would like to hear an opinion from another engineer.

The board decided to ask the engineer if it would be better to construct two walls.

The board also approved the Davis Elementary School project, which will include a re–enforced corridor.

“It will be a solid wall, with steel running both ways,” Case explained.

“It will be capped with a concrete slab on it,” Ingle added.

Ingle noted that concept 3 for Davis Elementary, which they were voting on, essentially replaces what was there, with the addition of the hallway.

“Safe kids, and fiscally responsible. It sounds like this proposal works,” board member Dr. Jayne Griffin said.

Also during the meeting, board members reelected Carolyn Bradford as Board Chair and John Warren for Vice Chair for the Board of Education for the 2021 and 2022 school year.

Ingle presented facts and figures about the district to the board members.

For example, 19,000 breakfast meals were served and 22,000 lunch meals were served for the month of December.
Ingle also reported that 1,200 miles were driven by bus routes, transporting just under 600 students.

The facts were compiled in binders that were presented to the board members, which Ingle said would be given to them each month.

Ingle reported to board members that the school district was allotted $330,000 in CARES 2 Relief Funds, and another round of stimulus money was coming.

Dr. Spivey noted during the financial report that the total expenditures through the end of December 2020 were $6,992,939.78.

At 50 percent of the way through the fiscal year, general fund revenues are at $9,600,461.71. General fund expenditures are $7,588,573.24.

The ending fund balance in the general fund at fiscal year 2020 was $3,564,933.87. At the end of December, the fund balance was $5,576,822.34.

The board members entered into executive session at the end of the meeting to discuss personnel matters.

The board approved the resignations of Rebecca Castleberry as a cafeteria worker, Emily Westbrook as a custodian and Justin Page as Dade Middle School baseball coach. Page will resign effectively at the end of the school year.
Judy Gossett, paraprofessional, will retire at the end of the school year.

Tammy Crane will transfer from paraprofessional to secretary/front desk work. Crystal Gilbreath will transfer from Dade Middle School Georgia Network for Educational and Therapeutic Support (GNETS) to Dade Elementary School GNETS.

The next Board of Education meeting will be Feb. 22.

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