School board moves forward on stadium renovations

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Marshall County Board of Education eased through an easy agenda at the first meeting of the new year on Monday, Jan. 14.

In under thirty minutes, the school board recognized 18 stellar students for their impressive reading improvement scores, approved policy changes and discussed the Director’s Report.

Sorrells gave an update on the planned Preston Hopkins renovations.

The focus of the project is the reconstruction of the concession stand and restroom facility at the stadium, as well as improving drainage to prevent flooding of the restrooms during heavy rainfall.

The County Commission had approved $1,000,050 from the school system’s fund balance last year for the project, but plans were thrown into disarray last month when the lowest bid on the project came in at $1,150,000.

Last month, the board went over options to trim costs from the project, which, along with additional funds from the school system’s capital outlay budget, brought the project into budget.

Work will begin at the end of the week or the start of next week. The Marshall County Highway Department will do the demolition of the existing building, saving additional funds.

Board member Harvey Jones asked about the drainage situation, one of the more costly parts of the entire renovation. At last month’s meeting, there was talk about shorting the length of the drain as a possible way to save money. However, due to an engineer not being present, Sorrells could not answer.

“That is still a lingering question to be answered. We will keep pushing that,” Sorrells said. “That’s not an answer we have to have today.”

During the report, Director of Schools Jacob Sorrells informed board members the system will implement a new student information system. It is a collection of all student data in the county such as grades and attendance.

“This is where the state pulls all of their data at the state level,” Sorrells said. “The state is actually creating a new system. As of right now the only additional cost for that is just the conversion fee.”

The state decided not to renew the current information system for the county. According to Sorrells, there are several other districts in the same boat.

“There are some unknowns to it right now, but we will find a place in our budget for it,” Sorrells said.

A Five-Year Strategic Plan committee meeting will be on Monday, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m.