March 18, 2014 10:35:44 AM
Angela Verdell has been named the new president of the Columbus Municipal School Board. The unanimous vote occurred at the board's Monday night meeting, which also featured the swearing in of new board member Greg Lewis. Lewis was appointed to the position last month by the city council. He replaced Aubra Turner on the board.
In her new role, Verdell will be replacing Jason Spears as board president. Verdell was appointed to the board last March.
"I do look forward to working with everyone on this board and in the entire district in this capacity," Verdell said. "It is really a privilege to be able to serve in this way."
In addition to electing a new president, the board also elected a new secretary. Board member Currie Fisher will serve as secretary, replacing former secretary Glenn Lautzenhiser.
Fisher made the motion that the board continue to operate without a vice president. The motion passed unanimously.
In other news, the board heard from Neel Schaffer engineer Kevin Stafford on the status of the Brownfield assessment report. The Brownfield grant is a $400,000 federal grant that tests local areas for possible contaminants. According to Stafford, his firm has conducted an initial survey of the land at the Magnolia Bowl and Lee Middle School. There was no timetable set on when Phase 2 at the Magnolia Bowl would begin. Stafford said the work will involve drilling a series of 30-feet holes in various locations of the property to determine if there are any environmental issues present. Stafford said the Lee Middle School assessment was "clean," but said there is a possibility that there may be a buried tank near the bus barn that warrants further investigation.
The board also heard proposals from the firm New Path Strategy for a print management assessment and a facilities audit.
New Path's Tony Taylor said his company's proposal could save the district substantial money by combining the district's print needs with those of neighboring districts, a move that would save money through volume purchasing. That proposal died for lack of a second.
New Path's Warren Brown submitted a proposal for a facilities audit, which would be the district's first since 2008. The proposal was tabled by the board in order to further examine the previous audit and to determine if there were other firms that might offer the same services.
The board also approved proposals for fund-raisers and facility rentals of school property.
Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.
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