A relatively brief, 7:00 a.m. meeting this past Thursday, took care of the handful of items on this month’s agenda for the Northeast Vernon County R-1 School District. Items covered included the opening of bids for replacement of flooring which was damaged by a water leak over Labor Day weekend, the Superintendent’s announcements related to the district’s newly established foundation and receiving two grants, the adoption of filing dates for school board candidates and further details about the Senior Class trip.

On hand for the session were school board members Connie Gerster, Heath Brown, Heather Brown, Mike Newman, David Bruce as well as Board Secretary Janice Graves and Superintendent Chris Holcomb.

Significant damage was done at the High School to that portion of the old gym floor in what is referred to as the Commons Area, including the offices of the principal, counselor and special education room. While a hole was made through the floor at a corner location to determine the location and types of supports, the district and insurance company stated they will only know for sure when the old flooring is taken up.

The superintendent presented two bids to the board with the first limited to replacing the damaged section of old flooring which came with a strongly worded stipulation that they would not handle any supports or other issues uncovered when the old floor was removed.

After receiving little interest in this project, Holcomb reached out to long-time Bronaugh R-VII School Board member David Diggins, who owns Diggins Construction, based in Moundville. Diggins’ bid includes removal of the damaged section of the old floor and replacement with colored concrete and application of a sealant for $46,779.60. This amount had been reviewed and pre-approved by the insurance company and the motion to accept this bid was approved on a 5-0 vote. This project is estimated to take four to six weeks and would begin about a week after the end of the current school year in May.

Board member Heath Brown suggested to the superintendent that he investigate the purchase of water detection devises which can turn off water pipes and send out an alert. Holcomb welcomed the suggestion and said he would investigate the feasibility and cost of such devices.

In his report, Holcomb announced further steps in getting a foundation set up for the district so as to enable receipt of tax-deducible, charitable gifts. He spoke of his recruitment of seven members for its governing board and once final documents arrive, a first gift may soon be made.

The superintendent reported receipt of a gift of $2,000 from the Nevada Elks Lodge and a $6,000 gift from a charitable arm of the Masons with both gifts to be utilized for the purchase of new Chromebooks—small laptop computers—for use by students.

After the meeting, Holcomb added, “We need about 40 to 50 new ones. Our technology teacher, Bryce Leonard, has been working hard to keep as many going as possible but it’s time to replace a good number of them. These generous grants will fund the purchase of about 30 of them and that’s a big help.”

Holcomb said the filing dates to be a candidate for the school board will run from Dec. 5-26 with office hours being 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. while school is in session. The office will not be open on Christmas but shall be on from 2-5 p.m. on Dec. 26.

The board reviewed further details about the Senior Class trip to Destin, Florida. The five days and four nights will be at a three floor house and so will be provide plenty of privacy and separation of males and females. Besides being very close to the ocean, the house has its own pool and spa; the cost for use of this facility will be $9,600. Some 17 students are planning to attend and the class has already raised just over $10,000.

When asked about side trips to other attractions or venues Holcomb said, Mrs. Cain, the Senior Class Sponsor, is a very good planner; she knows what they can and cannot afford both money and time wise. It looks like this class wants to spend most of its time at the beach and so now they just have to raise the airfare.”

Enrollment at the elementary school in Schell City stands at 99 while the high school in Walker has 104 students.