GF board opts to wait on gym renovation

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Grim Gym renovation will not take place this school year.

The Green Forest School Board voted at its Monday meeting to suspend the renovation until next year when the school district will have a better idea of how the Tyson Foods expansion will affect enrollment.

The total estimated cost of the Grim Gym remodel had been projected by architect Josh Siebert of Modus Studio at the October board meeting to be about $799,617 for the worst-case scenario. Superintendent Matt Summers said the board believes it is not prudent to spend that kind of money without knowing what the future holds for the Green Forest School District.

"Obviously, no one is against the renovation. We're all in agreement that it is needed," Summers said. "We decided to suspend the Grim Gym renovation until we see exactly what our status is this time next year with the Tyson growth."

Originally, construction on the project had been projected to begin the Monday after 2017 graduation.

"It might all work out just fine with that timeline, but, then again, it might not. When you're dealing with taxpayers' money, it's

important for us to be wise and prudent with our spending," Summers said. "You always need a good plan, and, right now, the plans are a little foggy until we see where we're going to be."

Also at the meeting, the board voted to accept a bid of $13,200 from Foundation Specialists Inc. to repair the foundation on the south side of the high school campus.

The board later voted to approve a contract with Anstaff Bank for a 1 percent cash-back corporate card that the school district will begin using in January. Summers said the card will be used for bills and normal spending, and a 1 percent cash-back check will be sent to the district each month. That money, he said, will be deposited into the district's student activities account.

"That account has been depleted lately, and this is one way for us to sustain it," Summers said. "We're very excited about this. We have been working with Anstaff Bank and its personnel for quite some time, and I believe we're their first business or corporate group to use this card."

The board voted to approve three fundraisers for the cross country team to help the students purchase their state championship rings.

"One fundraiser is a 50/50 drawing at all of the home basketball games in January and possibly February," Summers said. "The other two are the selling of fan merchandise for the team and a GoFundMe account."

The board also voted to approve a few student transfers and an alternate student schedule for a high school student entering a work program.

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