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GBW Architects selected to design Priceville School

GBW Architects of Decatur was chosen over two larger firms to design the proposed new Priceville High School at the regular monthly meeting of Morgan County School Board April 12.

While the vote was unanimous, two board members expressed concern about GBW’s limited experience with school building projects and seemed to lean toward a larger, more experienced firm during a work session discussion that preceded the meeting.

Two other architects, Barganier, Davis, Sims of Montgomery and Lathan and Associates of Birmingham offered proposals, along with GBW, at the previous month’s board meeting.

Board member Tom Earwood, who served on an architect search committee with board members Jeff McLemore and Jimmy Dobbs, pointed out that one of the architectural firms under consideration has over 1,000 school building projects to its credit.

“They didn’t get there overnight,” he pointed out. “They have a solid reputation as the largest architectural firm in the state.”

“I ask you,” he questioned, “If you needed a heart transplant, would you choose a surgeon who has never done one or a surgeon who has done 1,000?”

Board chairman Carolyn Wallace picked up where he left off by suggesting that consideration for the selection of an architect should be removed from the meeting agenda and brought back up for consideration at a later date.

There’s so much out there that needs to be taken under consideration when it comes to building a new school, “ she pointed out. “I want someone with experience before turning loose $20 million dollars.”

“It’s been a little bit of an unfair process,” she added.

The other four board members present expressed confidence in GBW’s ability to handle the job.

“I’m in favor of hiring a local firm and keeping the money in Morgan County, said McLemore. “I feel like GBW’s staff will work harder than the others since this is the firm’s first major school project and it’s at home to them.”

“ I had an opportunity to meet with the firm’s partners and I was impressed,” said board member Mike Tarpley. “I think they’ll do a good job.”

“I like the idea that this will be a signature project for GBW,” added board member Dobbs. “Plus, we’ll realize a tax savings and keep the money in our county.”

In another matter, the board accepted the resignation of District 1 Board Member Kenneth Henson for health reasons and appointed Billy Rhodes to fill his unexpired term.

Rhodes defeated Henson in the Republican Party Primary Election in March and does not face opposition from a Democratic nominee3 in the November General Election.

Superintendent Bill Hopkins and board members expressed appreciation to Henson for his 11 and one-half years on the board and wished him well.

The board acted on other matters as follows:

•Approved a low bid from Information Transport Solutions for basic maintenance of internal connections, effective July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2015.

• Approved a low bid from Information Transport Solutions for internal connections upgrade and installation.

• Approved low bid from Staples Store #1158 for Kindle E-Reader devices.

• Approved purchase and sale agreement with the Town of Priceville for a tract of real property, commonly know as approximately 36-40 acres of the Seller’s “Old Brady Branch Property.”

• Approved a contact for Spanish interpreting/translating services with Juanita Vallejo, effective March 15, 2012. Ms. Vallejo will provide translating services for parent and/or students during parent-teacher conference day at a rate of $20 per hour (not to exceed four hours. This will be paid from federal funds.

• Approved payment of $4,525 to the National School Board Association for annual membership renewal.

• Adopted the Morgan County Board of Education Financial Improvement Proposal Resolution for 2012-2013.

• Approved the 2011-2012 Extended School Year Program to be held at Sparkman School June 12-14, 26-28 and July 10-12 and 24-26, 2012.

• Approved the Priceville Basketball Camp to be held June 4-8, 2-12, at gyms at Priceville High School and Priceville Elementary School.

• Approved the Morgan County Girl’s Basketball Camp to be held May 29-June, 2012, at gyms at Priceville High School and Priceville Elementary School.

• Approved a contract for Spanish interpreting/translating services with Monica Myrick, effective May 3-4, 2012. Ms, Myrick will provide translating services for parents and/or students during kindergarten registration at a rate of $20 per hour form 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. both days. This service is paid for by federal funds.

• Approved a special education transportation contract with Pam Bice, effective April 4, 2012, Ms. Bice will provide transportation for an eligible student to and from school each day the student attends school during a shortened school day. She will be reimbursed $.555 per mile.

•Approve Godwin Barnett Woods (GBW) Architects as the architect firm chosen for the Priceville High School building project.

Out-of-state field trip requests were approved as follows:

• Brewer High School requested permission to allow two students to travel to Orland, FL June 19-24, 2012, to compete in national HOSA competition as state winners.

• Danville Middle School requested permission to allow 100 Beta Club members to travel to Lake Winnepesaukah in Chattanooga, Tenn. on May 18, 2012, as a reward for meeting the clubs membership requirements.

• Eva School requested permission for 20 students to travel to Six Flags in Atlanta, Ga. on May 12, 2012, to participate in the park’s Math and Science Day.

• Falkville High School requested permission to allow 35 students to visit both the Georgia Aquarium and Six Flags, in Atlanta, Ga. May 8-9, 2012.

• Priceville High School requested permission to allow a student to travel to Orlando, FL

July 6-12 to participate in the National FCCLA Convention.

Personnel items were recommended by Superintendent Hopkins and approved by the board as follows:

• Approved continued salary in lieu of sick leave for James Wray, maintenance worker at the central office, effective for five days (March 12-March 16, 2012). Wray was injured on the job.

• Approved Title I and/or Title III tutors for Morgan County Schools, effective Oct. 1. 2011 through Sept. 30, 2012, as follows: Angela Curtis ad Cheryl Morris, both at Cotaco. Tutors are paid $20 per hour from federal funds.

• Accepted notice of resignation/retirement from Fred Southerland, countywide bus driver, effective June 1, 2012.

• Approved medical leave of absence without pay from Billy Joe Lamb, countywide bus driver, effective March 1, 2012 through April 12, 2012.

•Accepted notice of retirement from Alton Leeth, head custodian at Brewer High School, effective May 31, 2012.

• Accepted notice of retirement from Rodney Collins, a teacher at Brewer High School, effective at the end of the 2011-2012 school year.

• Accepted the resignation of Bobby Malo, a bus driver at Cotaco School, effective May 15, 2012.

• Accepted notice of retirement from Janet King, half-time office aide at Danville Middle School, effective May 24, 2012.

• Approved a catastrophic leave of absence request from Rodney Culp, a custodian at Danville-Neel Elementary School, effective Feb. 24, 2012, through May 4, 2012.

• Approved a supplement contract with Holly Little as an assistant softball coach at Danville High School during the 2011-2012 school year.

• Accepted notice of retirement from Carolyn McClellan, a library aide at Falkville Elementary School, effective June 1, 2012.

• Approved a supplement contract with Brian Ellis as technology representative at Falkville High School for the 2011-2012 school year.

• Accepted the resignation of Jeff Andrews as an assistant football coach at Falkville High School, effective March 26, 2012.

• Approved a family medical leave request without pay as needed from Kim Smith, a teacher at Priceville Elementary School, effective Feb. 10, 2012, through May 25, 2012.

• Accepted notice of retirement from Shelia McAlpin, a teacher at Priceville Elementary School, effective June 1, 2012.

• Accepted the resignation of Tara Sasser Forrest, a fourth grade teacher at Union Hill School, effective March 26, 2012.

• Approved a family medical leave of absence without pay request from Jamie Terry, a teacher at West Morgan Elementary School, effective Feb. 6, 2012, through April 20, 2012.

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