The Barrow County Board of Education on Tuesday, March 2, approved guaranteed maximum prices of $1.75 million each for renovation and modification projects at Auburn and Holsenbeck Elementary schools and a max price of $500,000 for work at the district’s Center for Innovative Teaching (CFIT) building this summer.

The work at each campus will be paid for through a combination of SPLOST proceeds and state department of education capital outlay funds. The work at the elementary schools will consist primarily of improvements to building finishes as well as HVAC units, intercoms and other systems, along with security vestibule and changes to the school clinics and front-office spaces. Drainage and asphalt improvements are also planned for the playgrounds.

The CFIT funds will be used primarily for building finish improvements and other smaller-scale interior and exterior items, said Joe Perno, the district’s assistant superintendent for system operations.

The BOE previously approved construction managers for the project in December — Grahl Construction for Auburn Elementary and Charles Black Construction for Holsenbeck and CFIT — and Perno said the maximum-price approvals are the “last piece before taking off” on the work.

LOCAL TEACHER SUPPLEMENT INCREASED

Also Tuesday, the school board approved a recommended $1,000 increase to the annual local teacher supplement schedule for Fiscal Year 2022, which begins July 1.

Cindy Beggs, assistant superintendent for planning and personnel, said the increase would better align the district with school districts in neighboring counties and throughout the RESA district, as well as similar-sized districts around the state. The district had aimed to do increases last year but that plan was scrapped due to economic conditions from the coronavirus pandemic.

Beggs said the increases would come at a $1.5 million cost to the district.

Board member Lynn Stevens called the increases “long overdue.”

“This will be a good start,” superintendent Chris McMichael said. “Hopefully (economic and COVID-19 conditions) will stay in improvement mode.”

The board also approved an extension of the district’s classified salary schedule from the current 18 steps to 22 to better align it with the certified salary schedule. That will cost the district about $420,000, Beggs said.

OTHER BUSINESS

In other business Tuesday, the board:

•approved the purchase of $23,361 worth of data cabling from low-bid respondent TechOptics of Winder for the new wing under construction at Westside Middle School. The board approved an additional allowance of $7,500 for any moves, add-ons or changes.

•approved the purchase of new classroom furniture at Apalachee High School, as well as Auburn and Holsenbeck elementary schools, where summer renovations will be taking place. In all between the three schools, the furniture for students and teachers will cost the district a little more than $700,000.

•approved $13,924 in additional furniture for Barrow Arts and Sciences Academy.

•heard from Jennifer Houston, assistant superintendent for business services, that February ELOST revenues were $1.21 million, down from nearly $1.43 million in January.

•recognized Winder-Barrow High School student Ema Clair Caine, who was a district-level winner and earned honorable mention recognition at the state level for the 2019-2020 Young Georgia Authors contest. Caine is now a sophomore at WBHS and is the daughter of school board member Vince Caine.

•recognized Winder-Barrow High School work-based learning student Ethan Coker, a senior who recently used to CPR to help save the life of a woman suffering cardiac arrest while he was on lifeguard duty at the Brad Akins YMCA.

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