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Story Archives: School board OKs plans for rebuilding
|School board OKs plans for rebuilding|
The reconstruction of a fire-gutted wing could begin within weeks at the Horace G. White Senior Learning Center, according to Franklin Parish Schools Superintendent Lanny Johnson.
The Franklin Parish School Board unveiled the completed plans at its regular meeting Monday. The school's classroom wing and administrative offices were destroyed when an arsonist set fire to the building in the early morning hours of April 1. With the plans in hand, Johnson said the board can move forward rapidly.
"Plans for the west wing are ready and will be open for bid in about three weeks," said Johnson. We're hoping they can get started on the work in about a month."
Johnson said sealed bids for the reconstruction project would be opened on Nov. 5 and work would begin shortly after.
Six juveniles were charged with arson in connection with the fire.
Johnson said plans for the east wing at Horace G. White are incomplete, but moving forward. After plans for the east wing are completed, Johnson said he will present the plans to the board for approval.
Board members approved a motion to advertise for bids to complete the first phase of construction at the learning center.
Johnson said this is the first of several such actions set for coming months and reminded the board that funding for the project is coming from several sources.
"Keep in mind, we have the west wing, east wing, and the FEMA money to repair the gym floor and the shop building," said Johnson.
In addition to federal aid, the school board is in line to receive $2.1 million in insurance coverage for the damage caused by the blaze, according to the insurance assessment.
In other business, the board unanimously approved changes to policies governing how teachers can communicate with students and parents.
The electronic communications policy has been amended to include specific wording for the Franklin Parish School System. Jimmy Henderson updated board members on changes made to the current policy.
The policy states that all electronic communications between students enrolled in a Franklin Parish school and any employee of the Franklin Parish School System must be educationally related. If a teacher or employee receives a non-educationally related message from a student, it must be reported within two days to the principal of the school.
"The policy was amended to make it more understandable," said Henderson. "The parent or guardian's signature indicates they understand the purpose of this policy." Parents and guardians will be forwarded a copy of the new policy to sign and return to the school.
Board members unanimously accepted the amended electronic communications policy.
Bids to repair the roof on the old Baskin School have been submitted to board members for consideration. James Shirley of Southern Roofing & Vinyl submitted the lowest bid of $48,000 to repair the roof.
Johnson stated the bid would be accepted upon approval from Baton Rouge that the funds are available to complete the work.
"We're not going to award the bid until we have the approval letter in our hands," said Johnson. "As soon as that happens, work can begin and it needs to be done as soon as possible."
Board members accepted the proposal contingent on verification of the grant money from the State of Louisiana.
William Roberts submitted the only bid for the lease on 40 acres of pasture land near Turkey Creek.
Board members unanimously accepted the bid proposal for the land lease near Turkey Creek.