As school enters its final six weeks of the 2018-2019 school year, a number of improvements/renovations for schools across the district were approved during Monday night’s meeting of the Lamar County School District board.
The majority of the work falls to Lumberton schools, which were taken into the district this school year. The work is to bring those facilities up to par with the other schools across the district, according to District Supt. Tess Smith.
“We are trying to prioritize our projects,” she said.
The board approved the bid of $1.139 million from Codaray Construction, LLC for the renovation of the Lumberton cafeteria and a new bus barn.
“The cafeteria will be a huge project,” Smith said in an earlier story. “We are essentially clearing out the entire inside of that building. Our goal is to update the kitchen and give them more work space, as well as enlarge the eating area.
“We are also adding a café-style seating area for the older students, similar to what we have at Oak Grove High School and Sumrall High School. It’s going to take several months. We hope to be able to get a lot done over the summer, but it will require us to make some feeding adjustments. But the results are going to be well worth all of that.”
The school will also be the recipient of a new bus barn, which will replace the current structure which is no longer adequate.
“Our drivers need a place to fuel their bus, use a restroom if needed and to see to the basic needs of their bus,” Smith said. “A mechanic will assist with basic repairs if needed.”
Other improvements include:
• A bid of $94,298.90 was accepted for Lumberton HVAC from Coburn Supply.
• 125 light fixtures for Lumberton High School classrooms at a cost of $6,500 from Gilkey Electric, which will be paid from Lumberton improvement fund. An alternate quote was received from Robinson Electric for $6,996.75.
• At LHS, the tile in the front entrance hallway will be replaced at a cost of $10,167.14 from Southern Interiors. This expense will be paid from district funds - Lumberton Special Fund. An alternate quote was received by McLaurin Carpets for $10,744.23.
• Also at LHS, a new French drain will be installed at a cost of $16,950 by Olshan and will be paid for from the Lumberton Improvement fund. Alternate quote received for $21,875 by Codaray Construction.
District C board member Jeremy Chance commended Smith and her team for the efforts being made to bring the Lumberton Schools in line with other district schools. “This was something I was excited to see today. It shows a commitment to the Lumberton Schools and I think that’s awesome and needed,” he said.
“It’s exciting for them I know,” said Board President Buddy Morris.
• The gymnasium at Purvis High School will be stripped, sanded, repainted, and finished at a cost of $20,572 from Hollingsworth Hardwood Floors, Inc., to be paid from District funds. Alternate quote received from Hollifield Flooring and Trim, $21,990. The gymnasium will also get a new
• PHS will also get a new roof on the gym at a cost of $42,800 from Eddie Pearson Roofing, which will be paid from district funds. Alternate quote R & R Roofing & Sheet Metal $49,174
• For District Office, new tile for the kitchen area (labor & installation) will be purchased at a cost of $6,926.08 from Southern Interiors Flooring, to be paid from District Funds - Jefferson Todd. Alternate quote McLaurin Carpets $7,264.72.
• For the school district police, a fire alarm system at a cost of $11,750.00 from B & E Communications will be purchased and paid for through district funds. Alternate quote Fire & Security Unlimited $13,042.50. Also, School CCTV and Access at a cost of $47,831.69 from PRO 1. To be paid from 2019 MCOPS Grant. Alternate quote Alarm Central $62,387.00.
• The district will purchase 1,500 LED bulbs T-8 at a cost of $7,950 from Gilkey Electric, to be paid from District Facilities funds. Alternate quote Robinson Electric $8,025.
Approval was given for the district to apply for a Renewable Energy Grant from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation to place solar panels at schools.
“This is a grant that I discovered by chance,” said Smith.
Now that the board has approved it, Smith will get $5,000 to research the best location (school building) to place some solar panels.
“It will help us 'off set' the power cost, but there is a whole educational component as well as a weather station – all accessible online. And, there may be a 'bling' panel to put at a school site for students to use to charge their devices.”
In other business:
•The Office of Academic Education was granted permission to have blended Pre-K classrooms at Purvis Lower Elementary.
Smith explained that Purvis is the only attendance area in the Lamar County School District that does not have a Head Start pre-k class. “PRVO asks us every year if we have space for a Head Start since they don’t have a place in Purvis to put one,” Smith said. “We thought the best thing to try was a blended pre-k class. If it is successful, we would like to replicate this model in other attendance areas in our district. It’s almost like it’s a pilot and we decided Purvis because they lack a head start.”
Donations made to the district include:
• To Oak Grove Longleaf of a 20x20 steel pavilion with six tables valued at $28,001.89 from Longleaf PTO. This will be used for outside classrooms and special projects.
• To Baxterville, $700 cash donation from Board of Supervisors, to be used for sponsorship advertisement.
• To OGMS, $363.52 cash donation from Your Stationery Stop. To be used for Spirit Girl Dance Team expenses.
• To SHS, $640.00 cash donation from Diamond Bobcat Club. To be used for field maintenance.
• To SHS, $500.00 cash donation from Zach Little Memorial Fund Managed by Pinebelt Foundation. To be used for SHS Football Team.
• To OGHS, $1,225.00 cash donation from OG Athletic Booster Club. To be used to purchase Dance state championship rings.
• To Longleaf, 20x20 steel pavilion with 6 tables valued at $28,001.89 from Longleaf PTO. To be used for outside classrooms and special projects.
• To OGHS, 50 Chromebooks valued at $12,500.00 from Howard Industries. To be used for classroom instruction.
Purchases made by the district include:
• For SHS, 94 Football uniforms at a cost of $6,204.00 from Rex Team Sports. To be paid from school activity funds. Alternate quote Boudreaux $7,050.00.
• For SES, 81 Lenovo 300e Chromebooks at a cost of $17,925.30 from CDW-G. To be paid from Title I funds. Alternate quote ITSavvy $19,623.87
• For OGHS, Dance Team Uniforms at a cost of $5,349.65 from Varsity (to match existing uniforms for new members). To be paid from school activity.
• For PLE, 30 Chromeboxes w/accessories and licenses at a cost of $11,010.00 from Howard Technology Solutions. To be paid from Title 1 funds. Alternate quote ITSavvy $11,020.80.
• For SMS, 21 Cheer uniforms at a cost of $20,036.93 from Varsity. To be paid from school activity funds. Alternate quote Cheerzone $25,670.61.
• For PHS, 250 Yearbooks at a cost of $15,300.00 from Josten's Inc. To be paid from school activity funds. Alternate quote Independent Publishing Co. $19,890.00.
• Permission was granted to SHS, PHS, OGMS, OGHS, OGP, PLE, SMS and Baxterville to use C Studio as a vendor for school pictures/yearbook for 2019-2020 school year.
• PUE was given permission to use Goodwin Imaging as a vendor for school pictures and yearbook for 2019-2020 school year.
• Transportation received approval to allow The ARC of Southeast Mississippi to use handicapped accessible buses for their summer program from June 4-July 6.
The board unanimously rejected a request from the Oak Grove Warrior Club to create a “donor level” that would include naming a building at OGHS not currently named.
According to Smith, the request had to do with turf for the stadium.
The issue was brought up for discussion at which time board members noted that this was something that had been addressed before.
“I don’t think we need to get in the habit of naming buildings after businesses,” Chance said. “We crossed this bridge with another building at OG, the volleyball building, last year or the year before and that’s my thought. “I don’t agree with a business.”
Morris said it was requested at that time that the building possibly be named after a business. “We denied that then because we didn’t think we should be using our school facilities as billboards,” Morris said.
Smith questioned whether board members would be opposed to placing a plaque on a building, like is done when a new building is constructed and lists the superintendent, board members, etc. with a line stating, the following donated to this facility.”
“I would never be opposed to that,” Chance said. “I think when you have big donors, you should recognize them.
Other members felt a plaque or sign on a fence would be appropriate.
The Warrior Club was given permission to move forward on their fundraising efforts for new turf for the stadium (Phase 1) and Harry Breland field (Phase 2) during the board’s last call-in meeting.
At an earlier meeting, Warrior Club representative Sean Little presented the club’s two-phase plan which would replace the 12-year-old turf currently in the stadium and possibly add turf to the Harry Breland baseball field.
The stadium turf is currently four years past its guarantee and lifespan.
“The need for the turf for the stadium is great,” Little told the board. “It’s time and probably a little past time. But we’ve been able to make it work and it’s worked well. Because of safety and other benefits, it’s time for consideration for that to be done.”