Future projects get green light

Blount County Board of Education

The Blount County Board of Education called a special work session and board meeting last week. During Wednesday’s work session, Superintendent Rodney Green reviewed the system’s capital plan. Projects at Southeastern, Susan Moore High, and Hayden High are currently underway with the Susan Moore band room nearing completion.

Projects for 2022 include lighting at J.B. Pennington High School, renovation of the Frank Green Building (site of future central office), system wide restroom upgrades, HVAC upgrades at each elementary gym, and land improvements at Hayden Middle.

Those projects are being funded through different sources including state bond issue, state and local funds, and federal funds. Another project slated for 2022 is renovations and additions at Appalachian. Renovations and additions at other schools are planned for following years.

Green asked the board to consider leveraging a portion of capital outlay funds to be received from the state to move forward with several of those future projects.

At the close of the work session, the board immediately went into its business meeting, where they did approve Green’s recommendation to leverage a portion of those funds.

Two other items of note on the agenda centered on improvements at the Blount County Career Technical Center. Bids were recently opened for an engine trainer and a spot welder. ConsuLab Educatech, Inc.’s bid of $31,000 was the low bid for the trainer, which will provide students with the chance to diagnose and solve issues with the electrical systems of engines. Advanced Equipment Solutions, Inc. was the low bid for the spot welder at $21,000.

Green thanked the Blount County Education Foundation for helping secure an Appalachian Regional Commission grant for the equipment. “We couldn’t do things like this without the support of our foundation,” he said. “These are both huge upgrades to our program. It takes them both to the next level.”

After reviewing all of the superintendent’s recommendations, the board approved the following items: General

• J.B. Pennington: performance agreement with Creative Entertainment, prom DJ services; contract with Faulkner Turf Management, LLC.

• contract with Cook’s Pest Control through November 2022.

• cabinet bid with Hamm Cabinet through September 2022.

• award bid to ConsuLab Educatech, Inc. for engine trainer.

• award bid to Advanced Equipment Solutions, Inc. for spot welder.

• painting bid to Phillip Barnett. Personnel

• accept retirement resignation of Chris Wigley, cooperative coordinator/ teacher, effective Jan. 1, 2022.

• approve Nathan Bradley as a non-compensated volunteer at Locust Fork High.

The Blount County Board of Education will hold its annual meeting Monday, Nov. 29, at 1 p.m.