School Board

THE CONCORDIA Parish School Board elected officers and took care of other matters during its first regular meeting of 2021 last week. This photo of the board was taken last year. Shown from left are, Fred Butcher (re-elected president), Angela Hayes, Derrick Carson, Dorothy Parker, Raymond Riley, Lisette Forman, Ricky Raven and John Bostic (vice-president). Not pictured is Warren Enterkin. (Photo courtesy Concordia Parish School Board)

The Concordia Parish School re-elected Fred Butcher as president and John Bostic as vice-president during its first meeting of 2021 on Jan. 14.

Lissette Forman nominated the two for re-election to the posts, while Dorothy Parker seconded the motion, which was passed unanimously.

The board also handled a number of other issues during the meeting, including calling a special meeting on Jan. 28 to discuss the process for hiring a new superintendent. Board member Ricky Raven voted against calling the special meeting.

Last year, the board on a 5-4 vote opted not to renew Superintendent Whest Shirley’s contract. Derrick Carson, Butcher, Parker, Raymond Riley and Angela Hayes opposed the contract renewal while Warren Enterkin, Bostic, Forman and Raven favored the renewal.

During the special meeting next week, the board will consider a new job description for the position, set a salary and set dates for advertising the position.

On another matter, the board approved a change order of $56,002 involving construction of a new gym and gym parking lot for Monterey High.

School Board Business Manager Tom O’Neal said engineers had determined that the foundation for the gym should be a foot deeper – from four feet to five – to remedy a compaction issue, and that more pipes were found beneath the parking lot area.

The board last month approved a motion to relocate water lines that stand in the way of construction. The initial engineering survey did not reveal the existence of the lines, O’Neal said.

In September 2020, the board awarded the contract for construction of the project to Don M. Barron Contractor Inc. of Farmerville for $3,520,000. That included the base bid $3,210,000 and alternative bids of $102,000 for retractable bleachers and dressing room lockers, and $208,000 for the parking lot.

The gym project is to be completed by November 2021.

 The 15,940 square-feet facility will feature a permanent stage, bleachers concession and parking.

The architectural firm M3A of Jackson, Miss., designed the gym. Preston McKay is project manager.

In other action, the board, on a motion by Bostic and seconded by Carson, voted to extend COVID-19 sick days for employees until the end of June and provide 10 days sick leave to employees who have not used their COVID days.

Additionally, the board:

-- Approved the payment of invoices for December totaling $5.5 million.

-- Authorized O’Neal to prepare a policy for the board to consider liability insurance for school bus drivers who drive their own buses. The board wants drivers to have $1 million in liability insurance.

-- Voted to keep board member compensation the same: $9,600 ($800 monthly) for each board member and $10,200 for the board president ($850 monthly).

-- Agreed to a sales tax agreement allowing the School Board’s sales tax department to collect taxes for LaSalle Parish.

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