At its regular meeting on November 14, the School Board approved a contract with Moseley Architects to conduct a CTE feasibility study to assess practicality and to develop a rough outline for the project. Gills Creek District School Board Representative Jon Atchue indicated that it will take about 16 weeks to complete the feasibility study.
“Most importantly, the contract locks in the price of services. As we know… costs continue to go up because we’re all standing here,” Franklin County Public Schools Superintendent Bernice Cobbs said Nov. 14.
Starting now, it should also allow the department to apply for competitive Virginia construction grants that will soon begin accepting applications.
“The school board’s vision of how to treat CTE needs to be developed in order to have clear direction for the board of supervisors for funding purposes,” Cobbs added.
People also read…
A representative of Union Hall District PD Hambrick—who had been on the board of directors for the department’s previous attempts to move forward with the CTE facility project—was eager to approve the contract and move forward.
“I would just say, I’ve been working on this for 19 years and I’m really excited to see something. So I’m applying for approval,” Hambrick said.
However, Achu had some questions before the contract was voted on, chief among them how members of the project’s steering committee would be selected.
The committee, on which Atcho volunteered, likely included two Franklin County superintendents and members of the school board. The committee will not be finalized until the next school board meeting.
In December, the school board will hold a joint meeting with the Franklin County Board of Supervisors. The CTE project is sure to come out during the joint meeting.
School board members ultimately voted unanimously in favor of approving the contract, but waiting for the committee to finalize will limit the amount of information ready for the joint meeting, according to the steps of an initial feasibility study outlined November 14 by Moseley Architects Principle Jim Henderson.
Initial steps will be [to] Put together a smaller committee, do some preliminary work but don’t go too far and then very quickly start getting some open sessions where we can get that [community] Henderson said.
Atchu said it would be important to notify the moderators of the progress of the project before the joint meeting.
“I think we need to give them a heads up on what we will be ready for this meeting and what we won’t be ready so that there are no missed expectations,” Acho said.
After voting to approve the contract with Moseley, Franklin County Public Schools Operations Director Jason Guilliams and Department Construction Director Darrell Spencer touched on some of the department’s other ongoing projects, including new HVAC units at Sontag and Glade Hill Elementary Schools. Originally scheduled for delivery and installation over the summer, both units have been hit with delays. Sontag’s unit fell behind again, Spencer said, but he had some good news to share, too.
“At Glade Hill, we finally got the rooftop unit up and running,” Spencer said.
Meanwhile, Guilliams complimented the department’s maintenance department and announced that, after filling several open positions for bus drivers, the department had been reduced to six open contracts.
“This is a huge positive for us,” said Gillies. “Most of you probably know that… our Supervisor of Transportation, Cherie Whitlow… reverted to Assistant Chief of Ship… but we hired and promoted him within the company and Jeff Hodges is now our Supervisor of Transportation. … We are also pleased to announce, effective today, [we are] Fully equipped for our mechanics.”