Board approves bid for HVAC project
The Woodford County Board of Education approved a $3.106 million bid on an HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system replacement project for Northside and Southside elementary schools on Monday night. Marrillia Design & Construction bid was the lowest of three bids, and significantly lower than the projected cost of replacing the HVAC systems at Northside and Southside. The two other bids on the project ($3.702 million and $4.060 million) were also lower than the projected cost of about $5.1 million to replace those HVAC systems. Because of the cost savings, schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins told board members that the district has gotten permission from the Kentucky Department of Education to include the cost of replacing the intercom systems at those elementary schools in its bonds sale, which will pay for the HVAC project. He also noted that the district's architect has worked with Marrillia on previous HVAC projects "so she feels comfortable with them." The board also approved a revised KDE project application form to reflect the lower bid price for the HVAC project and include the cost of replacing intercom equipment at both schools. And the district's financial corporation adopted a resolution to sell bonds to pay for the HVAC project, with the board's authorization. Following Monday's meeting, Hawkins told The Sun that he was hopeful that both HVAC systems can be replaced this summer because Marrillia has two crews to do the work. "That's the plan to be able to do both at the same time," he said. Paving projects At its regular meeting next Monday night, the board will be asked to approve KDE documents that allow the district to advertise for bids on a paving project that includes Southside Elementary School's driveway and the bus garage parking lot. The probable cost of the project, including fees for architecture and engineering services and contingencies, was listed as $215,020 in the documents being submitted to KDE. However, Hawkins noted that the board agreed to wait until the bids are received before determining the scope of work on the bus garage property. Solicit bids The board will be asked at next Monday's meeting to give its approval to solicit bids for Chromebooks purchase pricing as the district explores the possibility of changing computer devices for its One-to-One Initiative at Woodford County High school and a possible expansion of the One-to-One to include students at Woodford County Middle School. The district will also be asked to give its approval to solicit bids for a gasoline/diesel fuel supplier as well as property, general liability and workers' compensation insurance providers for next school year. NTI days The district has used three non-traditional instruction days this school year, and those NTI days have been productive instructionally, Chief Academic Officer Jimmy Brehm told board members during his monthly instructional update. He credited pre-planning and a strategic use of those days - not using them on consecutive days, for example - for the instructional success. The participation rate for students on NTI days is not yet finalized, but Hawkins said based on conversations he's had with teachers "their participation rate has been very, very strong." "We expect over 90 percent," added Brehm. The Kentucky Department of Education will review student participation rates and other data in order for the district to receive funding for average daily attendance on its NTI days. KDE will do a preliminary review of Woodford County's use of NTI days in March, Brehm said. Woodford County schools and other school districts can use as many as 10 NTI days. However, Hawkins reminded board members on Monday that he does not anticipate using more than four to six NTI days this school year. Hawkins told board members that the feedback he has received from parents has "been extremely positive." As the parent of a fourth-grader, Angel Cooper, Hawkins's administrative assistant, agreed, telling board members, "It's working." With the use of NTI days, the last day of school for students remains on Tuesday, May 24. The district has reserved the Frankfort Civic Center for two high school graduation dates: May 28 (if the school year is not extended past that date) or June 4. Both are Saturdays. Financial report The district began January with a total cash balance of $13.54 million and ended the month with $12.712 million, according to Chief Operating Officer Amy Smith's financial summary. A transfer of $356,283.13 from the building fund to the debt service fund allows the district to make a bond payment.