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1. Call to Order:
The meeting of the Jackson School Board was called to order at 6:30 p.m. Present were: Sarah Pendleton, Bob Thompson, Peter Benson, Carl Nelson and Anne Kebler. There were three members of staff/public present.
2. Approval of Minutes:
Motion by Mr. Thompson, second by Ms. Pendleton, to approve the Minutes of the June 16th meeting as written. Carried by unanimous vote.
3. Citizen Comments: None.
4. Presentation of School Programs/FYI Items:
A. SAU – Other School Board Reports - Dr. Nelson reported that on August
20th the Building Steering Committee will be going before the Conway Municipal Budget Committee to deal with the bond issue for the proposed new high school and middle school renovation. This meeting will be followed by public hearings and a media blitz between now and the bond vote on November 4th.
5. Old Business: None.
6. Instructional Issues: None.
7. Personnel: None.
8. Business Affairs:
A. Consider Rejecting 7-3-03 Bid for Basement Renovation – Motion was
made by Mr. Thompson that the Board consider rejecting the bid on the basement renovation from Glen Builders. Seconded by Mr. Benson. [Note: Voters had approved $105,000 for renovations to the school basemen;, only one bid was received and was for $153,186.] Discussion: Mr. Thompson noted this was put out to bid a second time, there were no bidders. Dr. Nelson proposed going out to bid again in January since right now all contractors are so busy they cannot afford to accept this job. Dr. Nelson stated if it still comes in above the amount allocated, we will know what the difference is and will be able to ask the voters in March to approve any necessary additional funds.
Mr. Thompson questioned whether it might not be prudent to revisit what we are putting out to bid to see if we can pare things down to get an acceptable bid. Mr. Benson said he is in a quandary – engineers were confident that the numbers were good and they would get people to bid on the job. He questioned the cost to put it back out to bid.
Ms. Pendleton felt timing was a factor, that we were not ready in time to get competitive bids. She said her preference would be to put it out in January when people are looking for projects and can be competitive. Dr. Nelson said he could not imagine that Bergeron underestimated by that amount and, in fact, it had been expressed that on the one bid received there was no attempt to “sharpen their pencil” at all. It was felt that any contractor who is going to do this kind of project already has their work lined up. Mr. Benson agreed this is a difficult project for contractors in that it is too big for small guys, too small for big guys. He questioned if we get three bids back in January that are over, whether that leaves time to still get it in in March?
Mr. Thompson said he is not confident that we are going to get a bid on the project that is 45% less than the one we have now; he is concerned that we are not going to get people that can come in at this price, then will not get the support we need to increase the funding for the project in March, and will still be left with a building that does not adequately meet student needs. Ms. Pendleton felt it was just that we were not in the market at the right time. Dr. Nelson pointed out also this is a big building year, there are a lot of projects going on and those contractors who were large enough already had enough work.
Mr. Thompson wished to know what the odds would be of meeting with Bergeron and trying to find a way to drastically pare down the project in a way that would still meet student needs and possibly be expanded on in the future? Dr. Nelson stated the problem is that the biggest piece of this project is the excavation and the foundation. Mr. Benson pointed out the District has already sunk $2,000 into engineering fees without anything happening; if we ask Bergeron to pare it down they probably will, but it is costing us more to get less. He felt it is simplest to go out to bid again in January.
Ms. Pendleton wished to know, given that it is not going to be ready this September, what problems we have to try and solve? Dr. Nelson said they will use the second floor for music and art in the meantime. Mr. Thompson, noting the Board has not actually voted to reject the bid at this point, questioned whether there would be a possibility of entering into negotiations with Glen Builders, seeing what they can do, tabling for one month, making one last effort to see if there is a possibility of having this work done? Mr. Benson said he would rather see some competitive bids to be able to make a comparison; that it would seem strange to him to go back to someone who was 45% over, asking “how do we make this work?”
Ms. Pendleton noted this has been in the works for a long time and she felt it is important not to jerry-rig it at the last minute because we are still not ready, and would like to make every effort to follow through on it properly. She noted we have a long history of making do and she appreciates the fact that provisions have been made for music and art to go upstairs. Ms. Kebler stated it is actually music and instrumental which is more intrusive, and Ms. Mitchell has students she takes up there two days a week; however, if she has to give Ms. Mitchell her office while music is going on, that is what she will have to do. Ms. Kebler noted the space upstairs is more workable now. Mr. Thompson’s motion carried by unanimous vote.
B. Correspondence from HE Bergeron Regarding Basement – Dr. Nelson stated
this is an FYI item from HEB advising no bids received.
C. Award Heating System/Energy Management Control Contract – Dr. Nelson recommends reducing surplus money from $5,000 to $15,000 for phases 1, 2 and 3, and taking on phase 4 as finances make themselves available. Motion was made by Mr. Benson, seconded by Mr. Thompson, to award the heating system/energy management control contract, as recommended, to Siemens Building Technologies, Inc. Discussion: Mr. Thompson questioned who else received copies? Dr. Nelson said there were three sent out. Mr. Thompson questioned whether there is any concern about why we do not have competitive bids. He was told Siemens does all the Conway schools and has done some work in Bartlett. Ms. Kebler stated they have done work at the Jackson school as well; they
respond quickly and have a very good local person who lives in Maine. Mr. Benson’s motion carried by unanimous vote.
D. Approve Primex as Workers’ Compensation Carrier – Motion was made by Mr. Benson, seconded by Mr. Thompson, that the Board approve Primex as Worker’s Compensation Carrier for the school district effective July 1, 2003. Dr. Nelson pointed out this is a savings of 51%. Carried by unanimous vote.
E. Signing of DOE-25/MS-25 Budget Forms – The appropriate forms were duly signed.
9. Administrators' Reports
A. Superintendent – Dr. Nelson recommended that the Board officially vote to
spend $15,000 of the surplus funds from 2002-03 year for the purpose of renovating the heating system and boiler in the Jackson Grammar School. Motion was made by Mr. Thompson, seconded by Mr. Benson, to spend $15,000 from the surplus funds from 2002-03 for the heating system and boiler. Dr. Nelson reported the total surplus was $16,250. The Motion carried by unanimous vote.
Dr. Nelson reported that $11,000 will be returned to the taxpayers because of unanticipated revenue.
Dr. Nelson announced there will be a new teacher orientation program starting on Tuesday, and invited anyone interested to stop by the Red Jacket Inn. Teacher workshops are to be held August 26, 27 & 28; District-wide breakfast on August 27th at John Fuller and KHS.
B. Principal – Ms. Kebler noted that on August 26th staff will be working offsite,
will be reviewing the Mission Statement that developed during Future Search. On 8/27 they will be doing housekeeping items and training on the new phone system. Phones for new system are going to be ordered on Tuesday, will be installed next week - each classroom will have an intercom-type phone.
Ms. Kebler reported that Freedom Computers is upgrading the school’s computers, contracted with grant money they had this summer. Also they have discovered more grant money to fund most of Ms. Mitchell’s position. Mr. Benson questioned the situation with Computer Coordinator now that Ms. Woodward has left. Ms. Kebler said they have contracted with Freedom Computers who is familiar with what the school uses and is helpful. With regard to Ms. Woodward’s grant writing, she believes they may have to contract with Ms. Woodward to do that this year because she is familiar with that; with regard to the educational end of it, they will be doing that through staff development and outside workshops.
Ms. Kebler reported she has sent a letter to the Environmental School, plus two follow up phone calls, and has had no response to her request to return the $900 paid in. [Students had paid for 5 days at the school, but had to return home after only two days when staff walked out leaving them with no programs.] Upon question of whether to pursue this through the courts, Ms. Pendleton suggested that might cost as much as what we are trying to recoup, and questioned whether other schools that were there at the same time had any better success. Ms. Kebler will look into this. Dr. Nelson reported that out of the 8 or 9 trips which had to be cancelled this year, all but two have been responsive to the needs to recoup; however, in this case it was the fault of the Environmental
10. Citizen Comments: None.
11. Board Member Issues – Board Discussion:
A. Set Date for Next Meeting – The next meeting will be held on September
15th at 6:30 p.m. at Jackson Grammar School.
12. Signing of Manifest: The manifest was duly signed.
13. Nonpublic Session: None.
14. Adjourn: Motion was made by Mr. Benson, seconded by Mr. Thompson, and carried by unanimous vote, that the meeting be adjourned at 7:05 p.m.
Gail T. Currier, Secretary