• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Board okays bid to replace bleachers at Simmons

The Woodford County Board of Education unanimously approved a bid on Tuesday to move forward with replacing the gym bleachers at Simmons Elementary School. The project's total cost ($75,113.50) was higher than an original estimate because of the necessity to work around existing ductwork in order to accommodate enough seating for the entire student body, according to information given to school board members. "We had good competition from three major manufacturers of telescoping school bleachers participate (in the bidding process) so I felt very good about that," project architect Margie Jacobs told board members. Atlas Metal submitted the low bid of $62,357. The bleacher project should begin during winter break and if work has not been completed when students return to school, work will occur in the evenings, according to Jacobs. The board also approved revised construction documents seeking state approval to move forward with the installation of the new bleachers, which Jacobs said will have seating for 513. The revised BG-1 documents reflected an increase of $12,357 for construction costs over what was originally budgeted for the project. Financial report The school district began July with a total cash balance of $7.7 million and ended the month with $7.688 million, according to Chief Operating Officer Amy Smith's financial report. It reflected a transfer of $1.9 million from the building fund to the debt service fund in order to make a bond payment on completed school building projects. The district's food service fund ended July with a balance of $293,924. The Kentucky Department of Education requires every school district in the state to have a specific balance in its food service fund. When a target balance was calculated by KDE for Woodford County schools last year, Smith said it was around $450,000. Board Member Sherri Springate suggested that the district might want to look at creative ideas to use dollars in the food services fund balance if and when that balance climbs above what's required by the state. "If you've got ideas certainly share them with us," said schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins. "But I will say they are being quite creative right now with menu options and some of the things that they're doing" in food services. He pointed out that new equipment may also become a need. Student representative Woodford County High School junior Jared Christian was welcomed to his first meeting as the first non-voting student representative on the Woodford County Board of Education. "I'm so glad to have a student representative," said Springate. "I just think it's so important for students to really have ownership over their education, their school." When Jared was asked if he'd like to discuss anything at the close of Tuesday's meeting, the 17-year-old said, "I have a few things (I'd like to discuss), but I will think about those and see what the best way to approach those (discussion points) in the future."

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