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Nevada gym getting facelift

By Staff, 02/24/17 10:20 AM

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ROSSTON – Nevada’s gym will be getting a facelift soon.

The Nevada School Board, at its February meeting, approved buying new bleachers for the home side and having work done on the ceiling to reduce noise reverberation. These issues were discussed at the January meeting, when Superintendent Rick McAfee, told the panel the district would take out one loan with the Bank of Prescott to get both projects done.

He gave the board good news on the cost, saying he managed to get the roofing bid dropped from $63,000 to around $57,000, and the bleacher bid from $126,000 to $118,000. Both projects will be done by SOPRA, a state approved contractor under the Tip-Tap system. He told the board the district will have 40 colors to choose from for the ceiling, and one will be picked to match the bleachers. The ceiling project will have a cloth finish and cover the entire ceiling in the gym.

The ceiling project, he said, has a deadline of May 1, which would make it ready for this year’s graduation. The baffling would reduce the noise reverberations and make it easier for those in the stands to hear what’s being said on the basketball court.

The bleacher project’s deadline is Aug. 1. McAfee said the contractor said it shouldn’t take that long to install the bleachers, and the job could be done by late June or early July. School personnel will remove the current bleachers, salvaging what can be used, and trashing the rest.

The new bleachers will have seating for 400, he said, and with the seating on the visitor’s side, Nevada will have enough seats to host a regional tournament should the district so choose. The new bleachers will have the Bluejay logo on the end cap seats and rails going up six rows. The seating will also have folding arm rests.

He told the board the district could get loan through the state, but can get a better interest rate through the Bank of Prescott. He also said the district has the funds to pay for both projects outright, but would prefer not spending this much money at one time in case there should be some emergency crop up. The district will make one annual payment on the loan each December until it’s paid off, which could be in five or six years.

Work on the bleachers will begin after graduation. McAfee said these will be permanent seats with no motors involved. Aside from the existing loan on the school building, he told the board, this will be the only loan the district has.

McAfee said the water superintendent for the City of Rosston convinced the Rosston City Council to pass an ordinance making all water bills due on the 10th of each month. This, he continued, poses a problem for the district as salaries have to be paid first before other payments are made.

Late payments, he said, carry a late charge. McAfee told the board he met with Rosston Mayor Lewis Jackson in October and was told not to worry about it as the school is the system’s largest customer. However, the water superintendent reportedly complained about this to the council in November. McAfee said he will talk with Jackson and the water superintendent to get the situation worked out. He will go before the council at its March meeting and ask for a five-day extension for the district. “We’ve never not paid our bill,” McAfee said, “and it’s rarely been paid after the 10th.” The current system, he added, does allow for a grace period, but includes an overcharge fee.

The board approved the state’s recommended base salary increase. However, it approved the total increase, not the proposed two increases at $400 a year for the next two years. This, McAfee said, will get it out of the way and make Nevada’s base pay $1,000 more while exceeding state requirements. It will also, he continued, help the district retrain and recruit teachers.

A calendar for the 2017-18 school year was also approved. School will begin on Aug. 15, with Labor Day on Sept. 4. Teachers getting their in service done prior to the Thanksgiving break will be able to take the entire week off. The same goes for the Christmas holiday. Spring Break will be the week of March 19-23, with graduation set for May 10. Barring weather problems, the last day of school will be May 28.

Brianna Allgood was hired by the district to be the new special education supervisor. In addition, the board approved contracts for the following high school staff: Eddie Buie, Kyle McAfee, Christie McMullin and Michael Odom.

McAfee said the school’s coding class recently went to Little Rock and met with an energy groups headed by Hope native Nick Brown. The students demonstrated what they’ve learned about coding. According to McAfee, Brown said he’d like to hire them after they graduate because he prefers hiring Arkansas students. McAfee said the starting salary discussed was $60,000 a year.

These students will be invited to the March board meeting to show what they’ve learned.

Last month the board was told of a popcorn and movie program for students who didn’t get a zero for not turning in their homework. McAfee said the program was a success, and 93 students who had gotten zeroes made up their work while the other students were partying. He said he’d like to reward these students before Spring Break next month.

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