School board discusses multipurpose buildings

Published 3:42 pm Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Former school board member Reese Moody came before the school board for the Picayune Municipal Separate School Distinct to ask about the status of a proposed multi-purpose building at Nicholson Elementary School.

The board also recognized Roseland Park Elementary School teacher Jeff Stuart as the Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year in the district.

Moody told the school board he believed the shell for such a building 60 feet wide and 120 feet long could be built for less than $90,000, if the district would supply slab on which a metal building could be constructed. He also said that the board had $100,000 set aside for such a building and that the board had approved the construction of a multi-purpose building at Nicholson while he was on the board.

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Assistant Superintendent Brent Harrell said research in the board’s minutes could not turn up a vote on constructing the building but said the district did have $100,000 set aside in its maintenance budget for a multipurpose building.

“When Chevron gave us a grant to outfit a computer lab, we found we already had the money set aside for the lab. The board asked (business manager) Lisa (Penton) to transfer the money to the maintenance budget for the building,” Harrell said.

He said the district had consulted with Chevron to be certain such a move was acceptable.

Harrell then asked, “Do you know when the board voted? We couldn’t find a vote to approve the building at Nicholson in the minutes.”

Moody said he couldn’t, that he just thought the board had taken a vote.

Later on as the board continued discussing the multi-purpose building, board chairman Harvey Miller said the board had voted to include the eventual construction of multi-purpose buildings at Nicholson, West Side and Roseland Park elementaries in the district’s five-year plan.

“All three of those schools need multi-purpose buildings,” Miller said.

During the discussion, the board asked architect David Landry about Moody’s cost estimate for the building. Landry of Landry and Lewis in Hattiesburg said his firm had been involved in the construction of several multi-purpose buildings in Lamar County of about 78,000 square feet and that they generally cost $1.2 to $1.4 million each when completed and equipped. However, he agreed to review any plans for the shell of such a building that Moody might supply the district.

During the discussion, the board also mentioned that a survey of the Nicholson campus had been completed and that the campus included more land than the board had been lead to believe by a neighbor.

Moody also asked about some black-toping at the district’s bus barn that the county had agreed to do if the district would supply the materials. The board said it hadn’t yet been done and Miller urged district administrators to ask the county about the work.

The board later approved putting out for bid a re-roofing project at the district’s central offices, the plans and drawings for which Landry had brought with him to present to the board.

After some joking among Miller, Duane Wheat and Tony Smith, the only board members present, the board agreed to poll employees to see if they would like to have the Weight Watchers program on campus after hours.

The board learned that Pearl River Community College’s heavy equipment program has agreed to demolish a condemned building on 16th section land as part of its training program, saving the district more than $2,000.

In other matters, the board:

— Approved personnel matters.

— Approved the list of obsolete items and student transfer requests.

— Approved 16th section matters.

— Approved a letter of agreement with JBHM Education Group for consultant services.

— Approved textbook purchase orders.

— Approved disposing desks for which no bids had been received and to store meter poles at the old airport for later use.

— Approved the 2nd reading of the board policy on Petty Cash Accounts and the 3rd reading on the Board Meeting Agenda.

— Went into executive session.