Green Forest stadium gets finishing touches

Friday, September 23, 2011

GREEN FOREST -- An update on the stadium got the most attention at the regular monthly meeting of the Green Forest School Board on Monday.

According to a representative from Crossland Construction, the track will be divided into lanes, which will be added to the track surface and should be completed by the weekend. It will take a few days before any traffic will be allowed on the surface.

All that really remains in the stadium, according to Crossland, is to sweep up some floors, adjust a couple of panels and caulk some joints.

Superintendent John Calaway said that the PA system will also be tested this weekend.

"We know it works, but we're going to get our people familiar with all of the switches," he said. "That way if something trips or fails, then we have time to fix it."

Head football coach Jay Martin and Calaway, as well as other faculty members, will take a tour of the completed facility sometime next week.

Board members also discussed the possibility of adding a Title One aide.

This position would allow for the aide to work in one of the libraries, as well as assist teachers in the classroom when needed.

The district currently has four libraries, but only three library media specialists. The board passed a motion to hire a new specialist to fill the fourth position, therefore keeping all four libraries open.

So far, the libraries have been open based on a rotation, which according to Calaway, "is frowned upon by the state."

"What we're trying to do is to create a position that will keep the libraries open, as well as help students with their resources and fulfill the job requirements," he added.

Previously, volunteers and substitutes have been used.

"There have been times when we don't have someone in one of the buildings, such as the fourth and fifth building, versus the sixth through eighth building," he said.

Also, the board briefly discussed the possibility of installing bleachers for the visitors side of the football field. This would mean closing down Arch Street.

"I think that the city is open to talking about it," President Bud Phillips said. "Safety for the kids will go into the decision."

Arch Street is city property and the issue would have to be added to city council's agenda in the coming months.

Calaway said that he will contact Mayor Charlie Reece to set up a time to talk more in-depth on the topic, and that at some point both attorneys -- one for the city and the other for the school system -- will have to meet to answer questions on any possible obstacles that will have to be addressed.

In other business, the board passed the 2011-12 budget without any reluctance. The district will also be having their scholastic audit at the end of October. It will take two to three weeks before the data will be made available to the district, according to Calaway.

Finally, Josh A. Siebert, associate architect with Modus Studio, was on hand to present the Merit Award to the board.

The award, in recognition for outstanding achievement in architectural design, was presented to Green Forest Public Schools for the design of the middle school. The award comes from the Arkansas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

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