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BoE OKs parking lot maintenance projects, 2012-13 calendar
No furlough days scheduled for next academic year
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The Liberty County Board of Education during its Tuesday meeting approved an academic calendar with no furlough days for the 2012-13 academic year as well as a $384,400 bid for the paving and maintenance at three schools.

“We’ve got all our days back in it. That puts us on track for a full schedule … that’s going to be an adjustment,” Chairwoman Lily Baker said as she presented the topic.

The board approved a 190-day calendar for the 2012-13 academic year with the understanding that it may have to revisit the topic if state allotments change after Superintendent Dr. Judy Scherer cautioned the board that the full schedule is dependent on state appropriations.

“That’s assuming that the state comes through with the amount of money that they’re telling us they’ll come through with when the legislative session actually meets. … We feel like we can go without any furlough days on that assumption,” Scherer said.

This year, the system has three furlough days, down from six in 2010-11 and 2009-10.

As planned, there will be two 90-day semesters, with school beginning Aug. 6, 2012, and ending May 24, 2013.

The board also approved a $384,400 Griffin Contracting bid for paving maintenance and improvements at Midway Middle, Snelson-Golden Middle and Joseph Martin Elementary schools that will be funded by E-SPLOST.

The bid came in 12 percent lower than an initial estimate price, according to the recommendation letter from Matthew Barrow, school board engineering consultant and vice president of P.C. Simonton & Associates Consulting Engineers.

The projects will include patching holes, applying an asphalt overlay and restriping, Deputy Superintendent Cheryl Conley said after the meeting. Parking spots in the parent pickup line at MMS will be reconfigured in striping lines to prevent traffic jams.

Before voting on the matter, board members discussed alternatives to allowing construction while schools are in session and asked whether moving the work to the summer is a feasible option.

Though the work will be done while students are in class, the project directors met with the school’s respective principals to determine a schedule and alternate routes to keep students from the construction areas, Barrow said.

“It was a project that had everybody’s input,” Conley said after the meeting.

Barrow and Rodger Osbourne, the system director of facilities and maintenance, explained that the work begins a list of proposed maintenance that would put the entire system on a six-year rotation. In the future, school roads and parking areas routinely will be maintained on a rotation, instead of allowing them to fall into disrepair during longer periods, which results in more expensive repairs. 

Also, the board did not approve a request from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority to use facilities. The sorority is an international organization that provides mentoring and tutoring services to LCSS students.

The Nu Rho Omega Chapter formally requested to use the Snelson-Golden Middle School media center two times per month for a leadership program for middle school girls, but the school board’s policy on facilities states that such organizations may not use school facilities more than four times in a fiscal year.

Board members Becky Carter and Carol Guyett said they feared that making one exception to the policy would open the floodgates to other requests. Vice chairwoman Verdell Jones spoke about the importance of offering after-school extracurricular activities, but she also expressed hesitation about making an exception to the policy.

After discussion, the board voted against the request.

In other news:
• The board approved a Bradwell Institute ROTC out-of-state travel request for 80 cadets to volunteer at a one-day corporate picnic in North Charleston, S.C. KapStone Paper and Packaging will pay the students’ travel expenses and will donate $4,000 to the school’s ROTC program in exchange for their service.

• LCSS parent mentor Lisa Vaughn was recognized for applying for and receiving two consecutive $500 literacy grants that will benefit pre-K students.

• Conley announced that Walthourville Mayor Daisy Pray wrote a letter waiving the $284,000 in impact fees that were associated with construction of the Liberty College and Career Academy, which currently is under construction on Airport Road.

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