GF school board puts construction on hold

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Green Forest School District won't be moving forward with construction on its new maintenance and transportation building for a while.

On Monday night, the Green Forest School Board agreed to wait to build until Superintendent Matt Summers can negotiate a contract with the owners of a more suitable property. Summers explained that the property will meet the needs of the district better than the property initially planned for the project.

"It would give us much more square footage at a lower price," Summers said.

Summers said he will release more information on the property when the negotiations are complete.

Also on Monday, the board received an update on the Rowlett property. The district purchased the property earlier this year, Summers added, to use for future development. He said the property is ready to be demolished and will be once weather permits.

"We'll have that property in its entirety right now for future growth. We don't have a particular plan for it, but our master plan in the next eight years has some rather large facility upgrades," Summers said. "When we have the opportunity to buy property for that, we take the opportunity."

This is the fourth residential property the district has purchased this year for that purpose, Summers said.

The board approved the use of the school gym in June 2016, when Summers said a youth and mission group will be visiting Green Forest from Texas. The group, he said, is working in the community and will use the gym to shower each day after work.

The board agreed to join the Arkansas Public School Resource Center (APSRC) as a member for the 2015-16 school year. APSRC, Summers noted, will help the district bring more vocational training in for students.

"They'll help us with the grant writing and legal things," Summers said.

After hearing new information on concurrent credit fees, the board opted to keep its old policy this year and revisit the subject next year. The new information, Summers said, would allow the fees to come out of National School Lunch Act (NSLA) funds. Summers explained that students are currently expected to pay the fees themselves.

"That will be a discussion in the spring," Summers said.

The board received administrative reports. The elementary school, Summers said, is achieving in all areas. He said the high school and middle school are also high-achieving.

"We're very pleased with our results. There's a lot of hard work by teachers and staff members, and certainly that hard work is paying off," Summers said.

The board approved the bus safety plan and two new policies on a first reading.

Elizdalia Rivera's resignation was accepted, and kindergarten teacher Ronda Ray was added to the K-8 After School Tutoring Program.

The board's next regular meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21.

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