School board to host hearing on building needs

By Joseph McCain The Winston County Journal

The Louisville Municipal School Board will host a public hearing Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. at the Noxapater Attendance Center Auditorium to discuss building needs for the district.

The public will have an opportunity to discuss proposed ideas for improving buildings and adding buildings in the district.

The board discussed the proposed ideas at its Nov. 14 meeting.

Superintendent Dr. William Wade outlined the needs in the district and how best to address those needs.

“We have needs on every campus in the district,” said Wade.

“There are building needs in the district but our focus should be on student achievement,” said Board member Cathy Edwards.

“These (building) improvements should enhance student achievement,” said Wade.

Wade noted that additional pre-k classes where needed at Fair Elementary, physical education facilities were needed at Fair and Louisville Elementary, Cafeteria needed updating at Nanih Waiya, improving classrooms and gym at Nanih Waiya, Noxapater High School Hall, Noxapater gym, Noxapater football field lights, roof and floor problems at Eiland Middle School and possibly adding 7th and 8th grade buildings on Louisville High School Campus.

Wade highlighted the importance of each of the projects listed. He explained the Fair Elementary needed 2 to 3 more pre-k classes due to request by parents. The physical education needs at Louisville and Fair would give students a place to for physical activities when it was cold or raining.

“They have no place to go if the weather is bad,” said Wade. “This is a direct need for the children.”

Wade added that the building projects will help keep Louisville Elementary and Eiland Middle School classes smaller which is more conducive to learning.

“Smaller school setting will increase student achievement and reduce discipline problems. This is supported by research,” said Wade.

Part of the proposed project would move the 7th and 8th grade onto new buildings on the Louisville High School campus with 12 classrooms.

Wade noted that the moving of students to the campus could provide more opportunities to the 7th and 8th grade students.

According to Wade, 7th and 8th grade students would have opportunity to enroll in Biology and Algebra I classes for credit, High School teachers would be able to teach 7th and 8th grade classes when needed, 7th and 8th grade teachers will be able to teach 9th-12th students when needed, Secondary subject area teachers would be better able to work together as part of the Professional Learning Communities.

The Nanih Waiya campus would get an updated cafeteria that seats 250-300. The plan also calls for renovations for air conditioning at the gym and adding 7 classrooms.

Noxapater would receive updates to the gym as well as to the high school hall along with lights for the football field.

The proposed projects are estimated to cost about $7.5 million. The district would refinance its present debt of $1.8 million and borrow the funds to do the projects. The district would then owe about $9.3 million and would pay off the note over the next 10 years using the 3 mill note tax funds and timber sales.

The proposed projects would take about 2 years and Wade hopes the projects can begin this summer.

In other matters in the November 14 meeting, the school board: • Approved hiring an architect for the school district in case district moves forward with proposed building needs. • Approved the monthly claims docket. • Discussed car pooling to meetings and conferences to save travel funds for the district. Moody highlighted the time and funds that could be saved when persons are attending same conference may travel together. • Discussed the cost consultants in the district. Nola Bryant outlined the new teaching models and training was necessary to have all the new plans implemented. Steve Eiland noted that a SPED consultant had helped them address several issues with SPED students graduating. • Approved the 2012 bank balances. • Discussed the lower cash and fund balances in November and December which will begin building back up in January and February when taxes start coming in according to Tracy Luke, business manager. • Accepted a $85,000 grant to the Winston – Louisville Career and technical center. • Approved staff for the CAPPS program. • Approved policy for impact grant funds. The grant should bring about $20,000 into the district according to Wade. The grant is in place to help districts with Native American students and students whose parents are in the military or federal employees. • Approved applying for a $52,035 technology grant with plans to purchase 9 smart boards for Fair Elementary. • Approved Sixteen Section items including canceling a lease, leasing a vacant lot in Center Ridge Community, a high bid of $6.85 per acre for hunting lease on 302 acres and bid on clear cutting timber for a bid of $57,012. Dr. Wade noted that bids on Sixteen Section had to be opened during board meeting. In the October 9 meeting, the board: • Received an overview of Nanih Waiya’s school performance on the state tests. Principal David Luke reviewed the status of the school and its goal to improve to a Star status next year. Nanih Waiya’s QDI was 191 which is close to the 200 score needed for star status. Luke credited the teachers, parental involvement and all wanting to achieve as the key to the school’s success. • Discussed the new Board Book which was implemented at the Nov. meeting where the board used ipads to create a paperless meeting setting for the future. • Discussed proposed “Blue Jeans Friday” fundraiser at Eiland Middle School through the TAPS program. • Cancelled a two acre commercial lease with Mike Peterson on Brooksville Road. • Hired Marcus Thames as an assistant baseball coach at Louisville High. Thames is played major league baseball for several years with the Detroit Lions, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees. • Approved financial reports and claims docket. • Approved B&G club to receive $1000 from CAPPS grant. • Approved bank balances and noted that Sixteen section funds were up $31,000 compared to previous year.