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Wheeler School’s Agriculture, Transportation Facilities Work Delayed

Wheeler County School Superintendent Suzanne Couey reported further delays for the completion of the school’s agriculture and transportation facilities. “They were supposed to be finished by June, but [contractors] met with us and said they were not anticipating getting the steel [to do so] until July.” Couey commended the transportation staff for their service and understanding, especially considering the recent wet, cold weather. “We have run into some complications, not just weather- related, with the construction project,” Couey said. “We met with [the contractors] on the 25th [of February] and at that point, they had had around 17 rain days. They also discussed other complications” which are nonnegotiable contingencies: the rerouting of a sewer line and the alteration of a retention pond. Also, in the construction crew’s site preparation, they found the foundation of the demolished old high school, which will have to be excavated and removed. Superintendent Couey and the board predicted this to be a costly contingency to come.

The board also discussed several roofing projects being assessed by Greg Wilcher, overseer for the school system’s maintenance and operations. Due to an aged roof and water that collects around various air ducts, the leaks have grown more severe in certain parts of the high school building. Wilcher contacted three roofing companies, and received quotes from two of the three, one of which was Moore’s Roofing. Quotes were provided and the motion was approved for Moore’s Roofing to oversee these projects.

In response to calls to the Board of Education office asking them to consider the implementation of school uniforms, Couey reported the intent to do so. The possibility has been proposed for the sake of receiving further feedback from parents. “We’ve had a lot of comments from parents about the dress code. We will review them and take valid concerns into consideration before making a final decision,” Couey said.

In other business, the following personnel recommendations by Superintendent Couey were discussed and approved: Scott Stewart will begin working in maintenance and IT within the month; Jane Defee will fill a speech and language pathology position; Kelly Rice will be an elementary school counselor in the 2021-22 school year; Hal Ford will continue as Middle School Principal; and Drew Collins was approved to teach middle school history in the 2021-2022 school year. The board also accepted the resignation of Tim McArthur, who will be returning to military service.

Couey, who noted that March 15 through 19 is School Board Appreciation Week, commended the Wheeler County Board of Education. “We have a good board, you all work well together, and I appreciate your support and all that you do for our citizens and our students.”

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