School renovation called into question | Carroll News
Carroll County School Board members participated in a lively exchange regarding the first step of proposed renovations to Carroll County High School at the regular council meeting on June 9.
After the Board of Directors voted to return to open session, the motion to allow division staff to negotiate with the top bidder for a Request for Proposal (RFP) was again put forward by Board Member Brian Spencer. This was seconded by board member RJ “Bob” Martin and approved by the board. Previously, the proposal seemed destined to be placed on the agenda of a future meeting.
“I don’t think I can vote on this. I made this statement to the Supervisory Board once and World War III broke out… I said I did not come here to sit on the bench. I came to play. Ok…. So far, I haven’t even been in the gym… .you know. I haven’t heard from who was selected… I have a million questions, ”Martin said following an earlier motion to allow best bid negotiations to start work on the RFP. (The second on this motion was withdrawn later after discussion).
On April 9, a council appointed maintenance committee issued the tender for architectural and engineering services for the renovation / construction at Carroll County High School. Tammy Quesenberry, chief financial officer and board clerk, told the board that three companies responded to the request for proposals and met with the interview committee on May 17. On April 30, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) released the ESSER III app for school divisions. The application has been submitted and is awaiting approval from the VDOE. (ESSER III is the third COVID emergency recovery and relief funding authorized under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act enacted in March 2021).
The Carroll County Public Schools allowance, if approved, would be $ 8,333,139.75, with the stipulation that 20% must address learning loss ($ 1,702,739.75 has been requested for the remediation and learning loss). This request would leave a balance of $ 6,630,400 for renovation / construction projects at CCHS, including an auxiliary gymnasium, additional classrooms, single cabin bathrooms, multi-purpose space and renovations to the CCHS. auditorium and music room. Quesenberry said the addition of these spaces will allow social distancing and improve mitigation strategies in the school system.
Quesenberry explained that the committee’s information was submitted to the board so they could make the motion (if they wished) to begin preliminary work by selecting a company to do the RFP, a necessary first step so that costs can be determined for renovations.
“With all due respect, you are all talking about second base and I haven’t even been up to it yet. I have a lot of expertise to work with schools and this process… sites and so on. I’m not up to it yet (after receiving information), ”said Martin. “I’m just saying I’m not even planning on getting the chance to strike. I don’t know enough to say one way or the other. I was left out here and I don’t feel like I can vote to go to second base when I haven’t been told anything about it.
Superintendent Dr Mark Burnette told Martin that he had been appointed to the construction committee and interview committee and that this group would meet again with the architect once the necessary first steps were taken.
“Isn’t this motion for us to be able to take the next step with the architects to get them to determine the cost of the renovations so that it can be presented to the committee of which Bob is a part to show them (essentially) what that we can buy for six million dollars, ”asked Brian Spencer, member of the board of directors? “That’s what this motion is. It’s about going to the most qualified people chosen by this committee … the first two or three and saying we have $ 6.6 million and see what you can do. All we are asking them in this motion is how much money we have and what can you do. Right now we haven’t even shown them how much we can spend or details or get them into our building to see construction costs.
Martin confirmed to Quesenberry that three companies applied. He said he was letting the school board and administration know that he felt totally left out of the process and resented him. Board member Sanford Hendrick said the architecture committee’s discussions were not shared with any other board member as he was still in committee. Martin said his main point was that communications had failed.
Chairman Joey Haynes said there has been no communication to his knowledge with the rest of the board that is not involved at the committee level on this matter. Burnette reiterated that the motion asks for permission for the division to enter into negotiations with the main company to develop a construction plan, which will include the committee’s input on wants and needs.
“You talk about being a hitter. I’m saying right now that we’re just discussing where the game is going to be played. We’re not denying you a shot… I just made the motion that we ask an architectural firm to show us some numbers so that we can make recommendations, ”Spencer said.
The motion died for lack of a second at this point in the meeting.
David Broyles can be reached at 276-779-4013 or on Twitter @ CarrollNewsDave