Donnie Moses is new chairman of school board

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

By Karen Hall


By a unanimous voice vote school board members approved the nomination of Donnie Moses as their new chairman. Kristen Gold was elected vice chairman, and Randy Perryman became chairman pro tem.

Julie Cathey and John Daniel Allen were welcomed to the board as representatives of the 5th and 6th districts.

Moving on to the remainder of the agenda, board members agreed to grant tenure to the teachers recommended by Director of Schools Jackie Abernathy.

They were pleased to acknowledge a gift of $32,000 from Ebenezer Farms for the swim team, to be spent on equipment that will allow the team to host swim meets at the Rec Center. This includes starting blocks, touch pads, and a scoreboard.

Abernathy announced this year she decided to recognize an employee of the month from the classified employees. She got a flood of nominations, and said she just couldn't narrow it down this time, so board members got the chance to applaud five classified employees.

Rick Daughrity, chairman and president of Orion Building Corp., gave board members an update on the school building program. The additions to the Lewisburg elementary schools are on schedule and should all be ready for occupancy in November and December. In practical terms, this means students and teachers will move into the new rooms after the Christmas break.

Driving past the site of Chapel Hill Intermediate School it looks like not a lot is happening -- what you can see from the road is mostly a big pile of dirt.

In fact, Daughrity said, "A lot has been going on."

Over 14,000 cubic yards of dirt has been moved. The roads have been cut in, and the slab has been poured. Over 5,000 linear feet of PVC conduit and 2,000 linear feet of pipe are under the slab, and over 10,000 blocks have been laid. Thirty-three of the geothermal wells have been dug, and each one has 1,000 feet of pipe in it. The roof will start going on in November, and by early spring they will be working on the interior finishes.

"We are on schedule," Daughrity exclaimed, inviting board members to visit any time.

"What about the costs?" asked board member Harvey Jones Jr.

"We're in great shape," said Daughrity. "I wish all my projects were in as good shape."

"What about the purchase of furniture?" asked board member Ken Lilly.

"Janet (Wiles, the finance director) has been working on getting bids," Abernathy replied.

Board members discussed the sale of some of the excess topsoil from the Chapel Hill site. Abernathy said it could be worth $35 per dump truck load, but Jones pointed out there were places where topsoil was needed, like the ball field at Forrest.

"Why sell it if we need it?" asked Jones, and board members agreed to postpone a decision until they knew more about where and how much topsoil was needed.

Finally, Abernathy thanked board members who attended the Tennessee School Boards Association regional meeting held last week at Marshall County High School.

"We got lots of compliments," she said.