By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
It might be summer — but spring cleaning is well under way at Williamsburg Independent Schools.
During the regular monthly meeting of the Williamsburg Independent Board of Education meeting Tuesday, board members learned there were several things in the works during the summer session.
Superintendent Denny Byrd said the whole school facility is on its way to having a new telephone communication system installed.
Byrd said the “E-Rate” for the system means a discount in cost — $17,000 will be the cost of the new phones. In March, it was learned an application grant had been made which would cover 80 percent of the cost.
Byrd added they met with AT&T concerning the new phone system — and the company won’t be able to install the phone system until either the fall break or Christmas break.
He added the new system would take approximately 120 days to install, but assured Board member Kim Williams there would be no down time with the current phone system while the new one is installed.
Her concern was student safety.
In other spring cleaning issues, Byrd said that maintenance crews have plugged up the football field and the old dugout has been removed.
He then said that the original plan was to remove the gazebo as well, but upon closer inspection, it was determined all the gazebo needs is some repair.
The long-anticipated new playground equipment is now on site, according to Byrd. More than $4,000 was raised during the November Fall Festival to go toward the five-part addition to the school’s pay area.
Also on the summer “to-do” list is repairs to the roadway and parking lot area. Byrd said some patch work had been done, but they are seeking a blacktopping machine.
School buses are also receiving annual service and maintenance, according to Byrd.
The school’s gym floor is having a facelift in the order of painting. Byrd said it will look the same — it will just be repainted.
The bathrooms are also on the road to repair — but Byrd did tell board members that two water heaters will have to be replaced. “It’s just something we have to do,” he said.
The school is still in the process of resolving staffing issues. Byrd said the school seeks a middle school science teacher, a high school English teacher, a special education teacher and a choir director for the elementary, middle and high school students.
Byrd also let board members know that Dr. Eddie Perkins agreed to oversee the distribution of over-the-counter medication during school hours.
In other business:
— Byrd told board members that there has been some growth since 2008, and commended board members for approving the new construction, which he said helped the school succeed. He also gave credit to “a strong preschool program.”
— Board members unanimously agreed to continue their student insurance with Scholastic Insurers, which present school employees agreed did a “good job” with the policy.
— Williams asked about the school’s Safety Committee, and Byrd said the committee hopes to meet in August prior to school starting back.
— It was also learned that the superintendent’s evaluation will be coming in July, as will program reviews for the school. Williams also noted that there will be upcoming changes to the student handbook in accordance with the new trimester schedule.