The Liberty County Board of Education approved a change order for Olvey Field phase two work and increased the number of maintenance personnel traveling to an out-of-state conference during its Tuesday meeting.
In introducing the $25,524 change order for Olvey Field, Superintendent Dr. Judy Scherer said the change was the result of the board’s approval to install commercial appliances in the two concessions stands that will be constructed in coming months.
Items include $2,120 in electrical changes, two commercial hood systems in each stand for a combined $15,662 in parts and labor and a commercial range for a $9,831.33.
The adjusted contract sum with the change is $6,738,524. The change does not require any schedule extension, according to a memorandum from Deputy Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Conley.
The board unanimously approved the addition.
The board also approved two out-of-state travel requests, with some discussion resulting in a vote to add another Maintenance and Operations representative to a John Deere Landscape University conference Jan. 25-27 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Board Chairwoman Lily Baker initiated the dialogue when she voiced her displeasure at the thought of only one person attending the conference.
“I’m wondering why we’re sending one person for this training, when we tried to get away from one person,” Baker said.
Rodger Osborne, director of facilities and maintenance, said assistant grounds manager John Spurlin would be able to share the information with the crew because he works hands-on with them, and he also would be able to train on the information after he attends the conference.
Baker said Osborne did not address her question as to why only a single delegate was selected.
“We’d be happy to send one more,” Osborne said. “We try to offer training, at least one out of the school setting type training for each individual each year … we were not only thinking of finances, but also from the practical side of sharing as much as possible, so it gives us more opportunity to spread out the training.”
Board member Charlie J. Frasier made a motion to send two department members. Baker killed his motion and asked for more discussion.
“I thought we were going to get away from having only one person know the knowledge or whatever,” she said.
Member Becky Carter said the most important factor is ensuring that the information from the conference is shared with others in the department.
“I’m not questioning the past by any means, but I hope that we follow up on this kind of thing … to make sure that whoever does go does come back and do the training,” she said.
Baker agreed, and said “there’s no way that only one person can do two sessions at the same time.”
Vice-Chairwoman Verdell Jones asked if the training is directly related to Spurlin’s position or if it is used by the department as a whole.
“Doing any kind of in-depth irrigation repair, as we do due to the climate, that knowledge is needed to be brought back and shared,” Osborne said, adding that Spurlin does work more of such projects than other staff members do.
Frasier motioned to add a second conference attendee again, and the motion passed unanimously.
The conference will cover topics on irrigation, pesticides and herbicides and turf grass disease control.
Funding for the trip will come from the Maintenance and Operations general fund travel budget. Originally, a single attendee’s lodging, per diem meals and mileage was budgeted at $186.
The board also took personnel into executive session at Baker’s request.
The board will have a work session at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24, followed by a two-day retreat on Jan. 25 and 26 in the Mulberry Inn in Savannah.