The Barrow County School System plans to purchase up to $130,000 in personal protective equipment for school nurses, staff members and students in the coming fiscal year to try to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The county school board, during its Tuesday, July 7 meeting, approved the initial purchase of $25,000 worth of equipment to start the school year and could spend up to an additional $105,000 on the equipment as the need arises. Future PPE purchases would be bid out by the school district or the district would join other group bids for the supplies, said Jennifer Houston, assistant superintendent of business services.

The equipment being purchased includes multiple infrared/no-touch thermometers for each school, N95 and surgical masks for nurses or any other employees having to staff clinics at the schools, gloves, sanitizing wipes and spray, hand sanitizer, face shields, safety goggles, surgical gowns, and other masks for employees and students as needed.

Up to $100,000 of the purchases will be paid for through the federal CARES Act pandemic relief program, while the district has also set aside $30,000 in its proposed Fiscal Year 2021 budget for additional purchases.


In other business Tuesday, the board:

•approved a guaranteed maximum price of $8 million for a SPLOST-funded addition to Westside Middle School. The system expects to receive $1.5 million in state capital outlay funds for this project.

•approved using the firm of Cunningham, Forehand, Matthews and Moore to perform design work for renovations to the Auburn Elementary School, Holsenbeck Elementary School and Apalachee High School campuses. The firm has done design work for the school system previously. Renovation work at those school sites will include new finishes, lights, classroom cameras and brick and mortar security vestibules.

•approved the refinancing of the district’s 2014 bonds at an interest rate of 1.16 percent, compared to the current rate of 2.55 percent. The move is expected to save the district 3.73 percent of the outstanding principal amount — or about $25,000 per year.

•approved the purchase of new bus tires at an expense of $140,000.

•approved the purchase of musical instruments for Barrow Arts and Sciences Academy in the amount of $86,649, which will be covered with ESPLOST funds.

•approved the purchase of three remanufactured engines for three older buses in the amount of $45,545.

•approved the purchase of radio service as well as video and camera equipment for the school buses.

•approved an $87,000 bid for the district’s white fleet service, which includes trucks, vans and SUVs used by maintenance, technology, transportation, school nutrition, and other departments.

•approved the purchase of bus batteries in the amount of $35,000.

•approved the purchase of brake shoes and drums in the amount of $62,000.

•approved closeout of the Yargo Elementary School renovation project. The district is due back $41,740 of state capital outlay funds.


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