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Cafeteria work on back burner

By Staff
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
The proposed renovation of lunchrooms at Hartselle High and Hartselle Junior High School has been postponed for another year. The move was made at a rescheduled meeting of the Hartselle School Board on May 5 when board members voted unanimously to reject bids on the projects.
Quotes made by two bidders were turned down. Brisco submitted a bid of $238,800 and $243,852, to replace the kitchen equipment at Hartselle High and Hartselle Junior High, respectively. Nelson Construction of Florence bid $346,647 and $275,081 for the construction phase of the two projects, respectively. The total quote for the two projects was $1.1 million or $404,380 more than a projected cost of $700,000.
Superintendent Dr. Mike Reed said plans are to postpone both projects until next school year.
"We'll be ready to begin at the high school in early May. We can do that by providing 'satellite lunches' for students."
He suggested that the board meet in the work session in June to determine what course to take with respect to two other capital improvement projects: the re-flooring of the gym at HJHS and the replacement of window unit air conditioners in a portion of Crestline Elementary School.
"We need to keep in mind that if we spend money on these projects we'll have less to spend on the cafeteria projects next year," he pointed out.
Hank Quattlebaum, maintenance supervisor, said he agreed with the board's decision to reject the bids.
"When you don't have time for the State Department of Education to review the architect's plans or have a pre-bid conference, you're asking for trouble. You would be setting yourselves up for change orders. It could cost us more or less when we do this next year. In any case, it will help to get an early start. It will make the bidding more competitive," he pointed out.
"If one of the steamers or convection ovens goes out, we'd have to replace it," Quattlebaum stated. "But we could use money from the state pool loan to do it."
At its last regular meeting, the board approved a resolution to borrow $943,000 from the Alabama Public School and College Authority. The loan will be repair over a 20-year period with a $70,000 annual pledge from the state foods fund.
In another matter, the board approved two changes in Reed's employment contract. One pertained to four health coverage supplements provided by the state and the other changed the words "travel allotment" to "other compensation" for retirement credit purposes.
Also, Reed congratulated Quattlebaum for being elected secretary of the Alabama School Maintenance Officials Association. "This is a great compliment to him as well as our school system," he stated.
He also asked board members to consider attending the April 2006 National School Board Association meeting in New Orleans.