Good news reported at school board meeting

Friday, May 13, 2011

At their last meeting before the end of the school year, Marshall County school board members considered a variety of topics in their 90-minute session Monday night.

Good news came from Cornersville, with teacher Vicky Carlton announcing that three members of Future Business Leaders of America had qualified for the national conference this summer in Orlando, Fla.

"We felt like a little bitty fish in a real big pond," Carlton said about FBLA's first trip to nationals in 2009, when they went to Anaheim, Calif. "Now people are getting to know where Cornersville is.

"It's a really cool thing for those who get to go," she continued. "I'm just thrilled."

Carlton was at the meeting to ask the board for enough money to go to nationals, and Curt Denton said, "I move that we send them."

Schools director Roy Dukes agreed, stating, "It's great to do that. It's well worth it."

Board members unanimously approved Denton's motion to find enough money to send the three students, plus Carlton, to the national conference.

Other items of business taken care of by school board members included approval of a large payment to Siemens for work going on now to make schools more energy efficient.

"The work's getting done," Dukes reported. "Forrest is really looking good. They've really improved the lighting."

Denton suggested taking before and after pictures of the improvements, and maintenance committee chairman Randy Perryman agreed this was a good idea.

Harvey Jones Jr. asked if the work was pretty well on schedule, and Dukes said it was.

One of the more expensive maintenance issues - the crack in a wall at Forrest School - is going to require study by a structural engineer. Three structural engineering firms submitted proposals for board members' approval.

"None is as clear as I'd like to see it," Jones complained. The proposals all stated a per-hour fee for an engineer's time, but only two estimated how many hours might be involved. One proposal did not estimate hours, but did give a full list of "reimbursable expenses" from mileage to photocopies, and many things in between, mostly at cost plus 10 percent.

Selection of a structural engineering firm is further complicated by the fact that maintenance supervisor Sheldon Davis doesn't recommend the cheapest one. Davis prefers Warren Engineering of Murfreesboro because he is familiar with them and they have successfully done work for the county.

Eventually, with Perryman's assurance that Davis did not think the crack presented a safety issue for now, board members decided to postpone a decision on which structural engineer to employ until next month's meeting. By that time they hope Davis will have more information for them to base a decision on.

Bids for health screening equipment and defibrillators were unanimously approved by the eight board members at the meeting. Barbara Kennedy was absent.