County schools cannot declare roof emergency

February 3, 2009

  -

 

STARKVILLE -- Officials met Monday night at West Oktibbeha County High School in Maben to discuss roof repairs, budget preparations and energy savings for the Oktibbeha County School District. 

 


Board members Cynthia Wall, Charles Avant and Curtis Snell attended the entire meeting, while Herman Bush arrived late, and Yvette Rice was absent. 

 


At their last meeting in January, the board made an emergency finding so they could quickly repair roof damage at East Oktibbeha Elementary. Monday night, Superintendent James Covington announced they would have to follow the standard, slower bid process to get the work done. 

 


"We can''t go that route," Covington said of an emergency declaration, noting architect Gary Shaffer has prepared the bid information that will be advertised starting today. They are seeking to replace the flat roof with one that is sloped to drain off water. Covington said he will call a special board meeting to accept a bid if these come in before the scheduled March meeting. 

 


In other business, Nikki King and J.D. Hudson of Johnson Controls met again with the board to answer some questions the board had about the work. King began with a progress update. 

 


"The windows are done," she said of the replacements at East Elementary. 

 


The windows were originally scheduled to be completely replaced by Christmas, but rains delayed the finishing work, and then it had to be done on weekends when children were not in school. 

 


School district officials are now setting up a time to do a final walk-through before signing off on the job and paying the bill. 

 


In other business, the board approved the calendar that will guide them as they begin to develop the 2009-10 budget. Covington had no words of comfort about what they can expect or how much funding will be available. 

 


"We have to be very strategic when planning next year''s budget," Covington said. 

 


He said they may have to make some classes larger to avoid hiring more teachers or replacing those lost naturally to attrition. He also said the district may have to rely more heavily on distance learning opportunities for their students.