Laying the groundwork: Nabholz updates BV board on high school construction
By Kelby Newcomb
Nabholz Construction is laying the groundwork for the new high school and middle school additions for the Berryville School District.
Senior project manager Jeff Gattis updated the Berryville School Board at its Monday meeting, saying Nabholz has been installing the concrete foundations for the new middle school cafeteria and media center and for the new high school building.
“Hopefully here in the next few weeks we’ll put the slabs down at the middle school,” he said. “Our building steel for the middle school has arrived. Probably mid-March is when we’ll actually start standing the steel up for the building.”
Board president Chad Hipps asked if the weather has been holding up construction.
“We have fought the weather a little bit on the high school,” Gattis said, “but we’ve been doing what we can to push through. We put in some extra hours and work weekends. Everyone has managed to keep pushing through.”
The good news, he said, is that the weather will be less of a concern now that the foundations are being installed.
“Once you start getting concrete going the weather doesn’t affect you as much,” Gattis said.
The board voted to approve the 2020-21 Proposed Budget. Superintendent Owen Powell said the proposed budget includes the estimated expenditures for the 2020-21 school year and the election documents for the school board.
The board later voted to approve paying a third of the approximately $35,000 cost for trainers for the Connect 4 program, with the Green Forest and Eureka Springs school districts each paying a third of the cost as well.
Powell said some of the money for a grant the C4 program had already received did not come through. He said Rodney Ellis, president of the C4 board of directors, and Tyson Foods are trying to help the districts recoup some of that money.
“They are asking you guys to split the $35,000 cost,” Powell said. “We will be reimbursed for it, and we will also get another $35,000 on top of that. It will be about $11,000 for us by the time you split the $35,000 between the three school districts.”
“And we will get that back?” Hipps asked.
Powell said the payment from the schools will be reimbursed.
C4 director James Knight also updated the board on the program, saying it has picked up steam in its first year.
“We went to several different businesses for tours,” he said, “and there has been a lot of curiosity within the community as to what it is we’re doing up there. We’ve had a really good response.”
Knight said industry leaders have come to the Carroll County Career Center to take a tour of the facility and meet with the students.
“I’ve been hoping and pushing to get some internships built up within the community,” he said.
He said enrollment is projected to double for the C4 program’s second year.
“In Berryville alone, we’ve got 24 student applications filled out,” Knight said. “Eureka Springs has six, and we’re still waiting on Green Forest. We expect about 20 from them. Our enrollment overall has almost doubled.”
The board also voted to approve the 2019-20 School Choice Resolution, stating students from other districts can fill out the proper paperwork to enroll in the Berryville School District and vice versa.
The board voted to accept the following resignations: third grade teacher Jennifer Hicks, cafeteria worker Sue Youngblood, K-2 paraprofessional Heather Lehr and high school BASE instructor Ted Richter.
The board voted to change high school band instructor Jim Swiggart’s purchased service contract to $283 per day and to hire Brandon BaHara for the second band instructor position at a rate of $150 per day for the remainder of the school year. The board voted to hire Jeremy Herman as a high school math teacher through a purchased service contract of $150 per day.
The board also voted to approve the following hires and moves: Tiffany Parton as a middle school and high school cafeteria worker, Debbie Kile for a seven-hour cafeteria worker position and Jennifer McCarty for a six-hour cafeteria worker position.
The board voted to renew the following administrator contracts: high school principal Donnel Armstrong, high school assistant principal Joey Curtis, intermediate principal Lisa Geren, middle school principal John McClellan, elementary principal Kelly Swofford, special education coordinator Apryl Harmon and facilities, maintenance and transportation director Paul Hines.