C4 board updated on project
The renovation of the old armory in Berryville is underway.
The armory is being converted to the Carroll County Career Center, which will house the new Connect 4 program for local juniors and seniors. The Berryville City Council had voted in December to approve a proposal from R. Clinard Construction and Consulting LLC of Bentonville for the renovations.
Bob Clinard, project manager for the renovation, gave a construction update to the Connect 4 Board at its Thursday meeting.
“We started the demolition about two weeks ago,” Clinard said, “and I’ve brought some plans here to show you what we’re working on.”
In the plans, the three buildings on the career center’s campus have been designated as Buildings A, B and C for simplicity, he said.
“The front building is Building A,” he said. “Building B will be the welding shop, and Building C will be the forklift shop.”
He said the construction crew has removed some of the walls in Building A to make room for large classrooms and storage space.
Clinard said his firm has also hired ESI Engineering Services Inc. of Springdale to serve as civil engineers on the renovation project.
“They have surveyed the area and are looking at parking and the handicap entrance,” he said. “Those are things I talked to them about that I want them to do. We need to have handicap entrances to all three buildings. We have to meet all the criteria of a school since that’s what these buildings will be.”
Clinard said he hopes to have a working budget by next week.
Green Forest Superintendent Matt Summers asked if the renovation is still on schedule to be completed at the end of April.
“It’s gonna be tight,” Clinard said. “We’ll have our work done.”
C4 director James Knight later updated the board on what he has been doing since being hired last month.
“I’ve been doing presentations at the different schools,” he said, “and went to the Career Academy of Siloam Springs [CASS] and met with the instructor down there. I’m going to coordinate with him so I can show up on a day when he’s covering machining or welding because that’s my strong suit.”
Knight continued, “I can help him, and, in return, I’m going to come back down again when he’s hitting on a topic I’m not really strong in so I can get some training from him.”
He said he has also been working on quotes for furniture for the career center and trying to figure out the number of seats, work tables and white boards that will be needed.
Board president Rodney Ellis said Paul Hines, director of maintenance and facilities for the Berryville School District, has found some available furniture in Cabot.
“It’s typically in the older style,” Ellis said. “I think you guys want this to look nice since we will have a lot of people coming in. We’ve gotten some quotes on new tables and chairs.”
Most of the quotes, he said, are in the ballpark of $10,000 to $11,000 for new furniture.
“That’s something we need to decide on soon,” Ellis said.
“For our district, we figure 15 percent on any project for furnishings,” Summers said. “As long as we’re under that 15 percent, you won’t hear a complaint from us.”
Eureka Springs Superintendent Bryan Pruitt and Berryville Superintendent Owen Powell updated the board on their recent meeting with the Walton Family Foundation about funding.
“They wanted to know what our goals are and what we want to accomplish with the program,” Pruitt said. “They also wanted to know what representatives we’ve talked to. Basically, they wanted to know what all options we had exhausted before coming to them, so we gave them all that information.”
Powell said he thought the meeting went well.
“We were told they gave us more time than a lot of groups they meet with,” he said. “They did want a hard number as far as cost, which we didn’t have. We gave them a ballpark number, and they asked that we get back to them as soon as we can with a hard number. I know that’s what we’re trying to get, and I think we need to really focus on getting that as quickly as we can.”
Summers said he has also been advised to contact Black Hills Energy about the possibility of being involved in the program.
“I’ve placed a call but have not touched base yet,” he said. “They’re very interested in what we’re doing because everything we’re talking about they have in their skill set.”
Ellis told Chris Claybaker, economic development director for Berryville, that he would also like to arrange a meeting with local business leaders in the next few months so they can meet Knight and learn more about the program and its progress.
Ellis handed out fliers listing the potential careers students can enter if they graduate from the C4 program.
“These are realistic careers that can spring out of this program,” he said. “[Board member] Bud Phillips had asked me for a list at a previous meeting. I think these will be useful for us in answering questions about the program and advertising it around the county.”
According to the flier, some of the potential careers the C4 program will prepare students for include:
• Aerospace Manufacturing, Production and Quality Control
• Ammonia Refrigeration Operator
• Ammonia Refrigeration Technician
• Ammonia Refrigeration Compliance (PSM)
• Automotive Specialist/Technician
• Boiler Inspector (DOL), Fabricators, Operators, Technicians
• Construction Technology
• Computer Aided Design (CAD) Technician
• Fork Lift/Lift Truck Operators Class I-V
• Health and Safety
• Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC)
• Industrial Maintenance
• Production/Project Coordinator
• Product Support
• Process Development
• Quality Control
The board’s next meeting is scheduled for noon Wednesday, March 7, at the Carroll County Career Center and will include a tour of the facility.