School Board moves forward on new administration building


At Monday night’s meeting of the Switzerland County School Board, the architectural firm of RQAW was selected by the board to develop plans for the construction of a new administration building, which will be constructed on ground that the corporation already owns west of the high school.

Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Jones said that she received Request For Proposals from three different firms; but recommended RQAW.

“Is this to draw the prints for it?” board member Bill Roberts asked. “Does that include the architect’s fees and everything? I prefer to see the bid costs.”

When the superintendent said that RQAW’s bid was the lowest of the three, Bill Roberts said that he felt better about the recommendation.

Tonya Moore then moved to approve RQAW, and Andy Truitt seconded the motion. All were in favor.


In other business discussed by the school board:

– The school board heard a discussion about the need to amend the school corporation’s calendar for the 2009-2010 school year.

Dr. Jones said that new State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett has said that next year there will be no waiver of missed days, and that all students will attend the state minimum number of days – 180 – no matter how long it takes.

Because of that, Dr. Jones told the board that the calendar needs to be adjusted to account for the possibility of days being missed due to winter weather. She is recommending that the calendar change some days from no school to regular school days, especially early in the year before winter weather arrives.

“I think we can build in enough days that we will be okay,” Dr. Jones said.

She also noted that the changes will have to be approved by the CTA, and if everything is approved, the last student day will be May 21st, 2010 – which will still give the corporation plenty of time to make up missed days without going well into June.

– Requests to the Switzerland County Endowment Corporation were discussed, but no action will be taken on them until the board’s meeting on May 18th.

Among requests presented included an energy-saving computerized thermostat system for the high school; additional parking and parking lot lighting at Switzerland County Elementary School; an irrigation system for the soccer field at the high school; and a baseball pitching machine for the high school.

– Jefferson-Craig Elementary School teacher Vonda Downing will retire at the end of this school year. She currently teaches third grade at Jeff-Craig. The school board regrettably accepted the retirement, and will honor Vonda Downing at a future meeting.

– Garry Jessup, a parttime employee at the high school working in the guidance office through the CAPE grant, resigned as of the end of the school year. He is a retired teacher in the Switzerland County system.

– A request to approve Amanda Cole, Sydney Pike, and Megan Meadors as the high school cheerleading coaches; as well as Casie Jesop as a volunteer assistant coach, was tabled by the board.

– Professional leave requests were approved as presented.

– The meeting of the Switzerland County School Board will be on Monday, May 18th, at 7 p.m. at the cafeteria of Switzerland County Middle School.